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Canada’s Interpretation of Free Prior Informed is out of Sync with the International Interpretation PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
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Wednesday, 26 February 2020 10:32
originally posted Thursday, 15 September 2017 by Joan Russow PhD Global Compliance Research Project INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE OF THE PRINCIPLE OF OBTAINING FREE PRIOR INFORMED CONSENT As affirmed in International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Canada has an affirmative obligation to “promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and … respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.” UN treaty bodies and other diverse entities require or support the standard of Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC). These include: UN General Assembly and specialized agencies, as well as regional human rights bodies. In 2011, the International Finance Corporation announced: “For projects with potential significant adverse impacts on indigenous peoples, IFC has adopted the principle of ‘Free, Prior, and Informed Consent’ informed by the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” The UN Development Programme (UNDP) “will not participate in a Project that violates the human rights of indigenous peoples as affirmed by Applicable Law and the United Nations Declaration”. UNDP added: “FPIC will be ensured on any matters that may affect the rights and interests, lands, resources, territories (whether titled or untitled to the people in question) and traditional livelihoods of the indigenous peoples concerned.” In March 2016, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recommended that Canada “fully recognize the right to free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples in its laws and policies and apply it in practice.” In particular, the Committee added that: … the State party establish effective mechanisms that enable meaningful participation of indigenous peoples in decision-making in relation to development projects being carried out on, or near, their lands or territories … [and] that the State party effectively engage indigenous peoples in the formulation of legislation that affects them. In July 2015, the UN Human Rights Committee urged Canada to “consult indigenous people … to seek their free, prior and informed consent whenever legislation and actions impact on their lands and rights” Following his visit to Canada, former Special Rapporteur James Anaya concluded: "as a general rule resource extraction should not occur on lands subject to aboriginal claims without adequate consultations with and the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned. “Anaya added: "The general rule identified here derives from the character of free, prior and informed consent as a safeguard for the internationally recognized rights of indigenous peoples that are typically affected by extractive activities that occur within their territories."
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