James Anaya




Special Rapporteur publishes report on the situation of indigenous peoples in the United States Print
11 September 2012

usa-mapGENEVA (11 September 2012) Today the Special Rapporteur made public his report on the situation of indigenous peoples in the United States. The report was developed on the basis of research and information gathered, including during the official visit to the country from 23 April to 4 May 2012. In the report, the Special Rapporteur calls on the United States authorities to adopt new measures "to advance toward reconciliation with indigenous peoples and address persistent deep-seated problems related to historical wrongs, failed policies of the past and continuing systematic barriers to the full realization of indigenous peoples' rights."

The report also stresses that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is an important impetus and guide for improving upon existing measures to address the concerns of indigenous peoples in the United States, and for developing new measures to advance towards reconciliation.

See the United Nations news release here and the report here. (English only)

Tags: USA
Annual report to the Human Rights Council including parts on violence against indigenous women and extractive industries Print
02 September 2012

human-rights-councilIn his recently released annual report to the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur provides a summary of his activities since his previous report to the Council (A/HRC/18/35), including his examination of the thematic issue of violence against indigenous women. He then reports on progress in his continuing study of issues relating to extractive industries operating on or near indigenous territories. The Special Rapporteur addresses issues that have arisen during his consultations over the past year with indigenous peoples, business enterprises, States and non-governmental organizations. In particular, he notes that a focus on the rights implicated in the context of a specific extractive or development projects is an indispensable starting point for discussions involving extractive industries operating in or near indigenous lands.

Read the report here

Information gathered on extractive industries in Australia Print
27 August 2012

2012-australia-extractive-industriesThe Special Rapporteur travelled to Australia from 20 to 24 August 2012 as part of his ongoing study on the thematic issue of extractive industries affecting indigenous peoples. During his time in the country, the Special Rapporteur participated in Melbourne in a roundtable discussion entitled “First Peoples and Extractive Industries: Good Practices,” hosted by the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. The roundtable was attended by key representatives of indigenous peoples, extractive industries, and the Government. The Special Rapporteur also travelled to the city of Perth and the Pilbara region in Western Australia, where he learned about models for benefit-sharing and other arrangements under which mining affecting indigenous lands is taking place throughout the region. These examples of models will provide an invaluable contribution to the Special Rapporteur’s report on the issue of extractive industries.

See media coverage

Tags: Australia
Consultation with indigenous people over land sale are needed Print
22 August 2012

james anaya22 August 2012. A United Nations independent expert today called on the United States Government and authorities in the state of South Dakota to start consultations with indigenous people on a land sale that will affect a site of spiritual significance to them.

Five tracts of land in the Black Hills area in South Dakota are scheduled to be auctioned on Saturday. The tracts lie within a site sacred to the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota peoples, known as Pe' Sla, said the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, in a news release issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

According to Mr. Anaya, the indigenous communities are concerned that the sale of the land will result in restrictions to their access and the use of Pe' Sla for ceremonial purposes. They are also concerned that it may lead to a road development project that would diminish the cultural and spiritual integrity of their sacred site.

Read more  and  see the News release

Government of El Salvador should adopt new measures to recover indigenous cultures and establish participatory mechanisms Print
17 August 2012

2012-08-15-elsalvadorSAN SALVADOR (17 August 2012) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, today urged the Government of El Salvador to adopt new measures to recover ancestral indigenous cultures and establish participatory mechanisms from their representative institutions within State decision making.

"The historical oppression of indigenous peoples and the suppression of their expression of identity have led to the large-scale loss of important aspects of this identity as well as many cultural and human aspects that it incorporates," said Mr. Anaya at the end of his mission to the country to evaluate the achievements and challenges of indigenous peoples, and in particular the Náhuas, Lencas, Pipiles and Kakawiras.

See the press release here. See the full end-of-mission statement by the Special Rapporteur here (Spanish)

Tags: El Salvador
Dialogue should be advanced to resolve the issue of military presence in indigenous territories in northern Cauca, Colombia Print
09 August 2012

james anayaGeneva (9 August 2012) The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, issued a public statement calling on the Government of Colombia to advance in the process of dialogue recently initiated with indigenous authorities in the northern part of the Department of Cauca to address the military presence in Nasa territory among other matters. He stressed the need for the process of dialogue to adhere to international standards regarding the rights indigenous peoples.

Read the complete text of the declaration and the press release (Spanish).


Tags: Colombia
Media plays vital role in empowering indigenous rights. International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples Print
08 August 2012

unGENEVA. The UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples mark the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples (9 August 2012)

In light of this year's theme "Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices", the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, have stressed the vital role that media can play in the respect for, and the promotion and protection of, indigenous peoples' rights.

See press release

Special Rapporteur participates in the annual session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Print
14 July 2012

hrcDuring the Fifth Session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (9-13 July 2012), Special Rapporteur James Anaya presented his annual statement in which he informed about his thematic work on the issue of extractive industries during the past year. The Special Rapporteur also made a statement during the inter-active dialogue on the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples where he urged UN member States to renew their commitment to the standards contained in the Declaration and work in good faith towards its implementation. In addition, he held parallel meetings with representatives of indigenous peoples and organizations in order to discuss specific cases of allegations of human rights violations.

See opening statement to the Expert Mechanism and statement made during the interactive dialogue on the Declaration.

Report on the situation of indigenous peoples in Argentina Print
11 July 2012

mapa-sudamericaThe Special Rapporteur has released his report on the situation of indigenous peoples in Argentina. The report is the result of the country visit conducted by the Special Rapporteur from 27 November to 7 December 2011. The report addresses the main concerns raised during the visit and presents a number of observations and recommendations. The main issues covered include the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and natural resources, extractive and commercial agricultural activities, access to justice, evictions of indigenous communities and social protest, and the social and economic conditions of indigenous peoples in Argentina, including in the areas of education, health, and development. The report notes, among its main conclusions that despite significant normative developments in the country, the State of Argentina, both at the federal and provincial levels, must prioritize and devote greater efforts to ensure the rights of indigenous peoples. See the report here (advanced unedited version, Spanish only).

Tags: Argentina
Conference on mining and other natural resource extraction in the Sami territory Print
20 June 2012

sapmi-anayaThe Special Rapporteur was in Jokkmokk, Sweden, on 18 and 19 June 2012, where he participated in conference on mining and other natural resource extraction in the Sápmi, the Sami territory that traverses the northern parts of Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Russian Federation. The conference, which was organized by the Swedish Sami Association, provided the Special Rapporteur the opportunity to hear the concerns of Sami representatives, particularly with regard to the impacts of extractive industries on Sami reindeer herding, and to also hear the perspectives of government and industry representatives who were present. In a presentation at the conference, the Special Rapporteur emphasized the need for effective domestic legislation, along with corporate social responsibility policies, to protect indigenous peoples’ rights in the context of proposed or existing extractive activities.

See video.


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