The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

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Text of The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

  • A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions

    The United Nations Declaration on the Rights

    of Indigenous Peoples

  • Note

    The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

    Symbols of United Nations documents are composed of capital letters combined with figures. Mention of such a figure indicates a reference to a United Nations document.

    HR/PUB/13/2

    ISBN 978-0-9873578-6-1 (APF print) ISBN 978-0-9873578-7-8 (APF electronic)

    The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions

    Copyright Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights August 2013

    The APF and OHCHR permit the free reproduction of extracts from this publication provided that due acknowledgement is given and a copy of the publication carrying the extract is sent to the following addresses:

    Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights InstitutionsGPO Box 5218Sydney NSW 1042Australia

    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Indigenous Peoples and Minorities SectionPalais des NationsCH-1211 Geneva 10Switzerland

    Credits

    United Nations photographs are the property of the United Nations, which holds all rights in connection with their usage.

    Cover photographs

    Left: Indigenous Hmong women plant rice shoots in Viet Nam. UN Photo/Kibae Park.

    Centre: Yiaku indigenous women, Laikipia, Kenya. Copyright OHCHR/Samia Slimane.

    Bottom row from left to right: A Norwegian Saami woman during the eleventh session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. UN Photo/Mark Garten; Indigenous children from the Embera people, Colombia. UN Photo/Mark Garten; Indigenous Australian brother and sister. Copyright April Pyle/Amnesty International Australia; a Yellow Bird Apache dancer performing at the opening of the fourth session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferr.

  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions

    i

    Contents

    Acknowledgements ii

    Foreword iii

    List of abbreviations iv

    Introduction for users v

    Part I The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Background, content and implementation 1

    Chapter 1: Background to the Declaration 3

    Chapter 2: The content of the Declaration: Equality and non-discrimination; cultural integrity; and collective rights 9

    Chapter 3: The content of the Declaration: Self-determination; autonomy; and participation, consultation and consent 19

    Chapter 4: The content of the Declaration: Lands, territories and resources; development with identity; and redress and compensation 31

    Chapter 5: The implementation of the Declaration 37

    Part II National human rights institutions domestic activities and functions 43

    Chapter 6: Accessibility of NHRIs to indigenous peoples 45

    Chapter 7: Awareness raising and education 57

    Chapter 8: Promoting compliance with the Declaration 69

    Chapter 9: Investigations and complaints 81

    Chapter 10: Public inquiries 91

    Part III National human rights institutions international engagement 99

    Chapter 11: The Human Rights Council 101

    Chapter 12: Treaty bodies 117

    Chapter 13: Mechanisms specific to indigenous peoples rights 129

    Summary 139

  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions

    ii

    Acknowledgements

    The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions is a joint publication of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF).

    The Manual was written by Andy Gargett, with the assistance of Katie Kiss, from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Team of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Suraina Pasha (APF) and Samia Slimane (OHCHR) contributed to the drafting and preparation of this Manual. The APF and OHCHR would like to thank Jesse McCormick and Aruni Jayakody for their contributions and James Iliffe and Lisa Thompson for editing and design of the Manual. OHCHR and the APF are particularly grateful to Rosslyn Noonan for her invaluable guidance and support.

    The importance of incorporating the views and practical experiences of the main users of the Manual was ensured through a series of consultations held by OHCHR with representatives of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and indigenous peoples organizations.

    OHCHR and the APF wish to thank the following NHRIs for completing a survey to gather information for this Manual: Australia, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Kenya, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).

    OHCHR and the APF also wish to thank those who commented on the draft Manual, including NHRIs from Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Swaziland and Uganda and indigenous peoples organizations the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact and the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee).

  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions

    iii

    Foreword

    The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, provides a global framework for efforts to advance indigenous peoples rights. Together with other human rights instruments and growing human rights jurisprudence concerning indigenous peoples, the Declaration contains crucial guidance for building societies that ensure full equality and rights of indigenous peoples.

    The Declaration has already prompted concrete improvements. At the United Nations and in regional organisations, human rights concerns of indigenous peoples have become an integral part of debates ranging from environment to development issues. At the national level, the Declaration has inspired new legislation and mechanisms for dialogue with indigenous peoples.

    Despite these positive signs, the promise of the Declaration is far from being universally fulfilled. As the findings of human rights mechanisms demonstrate, indigenous peoples in many parts of the world continue to be systematically discriminated and silenced. Rights of indigenous peoples are frequently the first victims of development activities in indigenous lands, often pursued with no regard to the principle of free, prior and informed consent and other guarantees of the Declaration.

    The present publication a joint initiative of my Office and the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions is part of our continuing efforts to fill these gaps, to promote the Declaration and to further its practical implementation. It aims at increased engagement by one key actor in ensuring that human rights, including indigenous peoples rights, become a reality: national human rights institutions. As examples contained in this publications show, national human rights institutions can play a crucial role in the protection and promotion of indigenous peoples rights. Through their legal status and mandate, they have the potential to be strong allies with, and advocates for, indigenous peoples. As conduits between the national, regional and international human rights spheres, national human rights institutions are uniquely placed to contribute to the genuine implementation of the Declaration and the progressive realization of the rights of indigenous peoples.

    The first part of this publication introduces the background and context of the Declaration, while the second and third parts focus on measures which national human rights institutions can take at the national and international level to protect and promote indigenous peoples rights. The publication is accompanied by an audio-visual resource, which features interviews with indigenous peoples, representatives of national human rights institutions and international human rights experts.

    I hope that this publication will foster a greater awareness of the rights of indigenous peoples among national human rights institutions, will guide and support them in this critical work and contribute to their capacity and commitment to work with indigenous peoples in order to realize the rights set out in the Declaration.

    Navi Pillay

    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

    August 2013

  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions

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    List of abbreviations

    APF Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions

    Declaration United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

    ILO International Labour Organization

    NGO Non-governmental organization

    NHRI National human rights institution

    OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

    UPR Universal periodic review

  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions

    Introduction for users | v

    Introduction for users