First mission to the USA by the UN Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples

By | 20 April, 2012

acnudhGENEVA / NEW YORK (20 April 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur James Anaya will visit the United States of America from 23 April to 4 May 2012, to examine the situation of indigenous peoples in that country. This will be the first mission to the USA by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to report on the rights of the indigenous peoples.

I will examine the situation of the American Indian/Native American, Alaska Native and Hawaiian peoples against the background of the United States’ endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” Mr. Anaya said. “My visit aims at assessing how the standards of the Declaration are reflected in U.S. law and policy and identifying needed reforms and good practices.”

The Special Rapporteur, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government and indigenous Nations and organizations, will travel to Washington, D.C., Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, South Dakota and Oklahoma to hold discussions and consultations with federal and state government officials, indigenous nations and their representatives as well as civil society groups on the human rights of the indigenous peoples.

At the end of his twelve-day mission, on Friday 4 May at 1pm, Mr. Anaya will hold a press conference in Washington, D.C., at the United Nations Information Centre (1775 K Street NW #400).

The Special Rapporteur will present the visit’s findings in a forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council.

Adopted in 2007, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (*) establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well being, and rights of indigenous peoples around the world.

The UN Human Rights Council appointed S. James Anaya as Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples in March 2008. Mr. Anaya is a Regents Professor and the James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona (United States). Learn more, log on to:


(*) See the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:

UN Human Rights Country Page – United States of America:

For more information and media inquiries, please contact:
In Washington: Deborah DeYoung (+1 202 454 2107 / )
In New York: Fred Kirungi (+1 917 367 3431 / )

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / )