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Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; the Disingenuous Canadian Conservative Minority Government PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 20:08

2007 September 13

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; the Disingenuous Canadian Conservative Minority Government

PEJ News- Joan Russow,Global Compliance Research Project - September 13, 2007 - A draft resolution to adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be presented at the 107th. plenary meeting of General Assembly on Thursday 13 September. The plenary meeting, in the General Assembly hall begins at 10 a.m. The resolution to adopt the Declaration will be item no. 6 on the agenda.

The Canadian Minority government did not support this Declaration at the Human Rights Council. The three Canadian opposition parties which are a majority in the Canadian Parliament support the Declaration.

www.PEJ.org

 

The following is the proposed Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The General Assembly,

Taking note of the recommendation of the Human Rights Council contained inits resolution 1/2 of 29 June 2006, by which the Council adopted the text of theUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Recalling its resolution 61/178 of 20 December 2006, by which it decided todefer consideration of and action on the Declaration to allow time for furtherconsultations thereon, and also decided to conclude its consideration before the end of the sixty-first session of the General Assembly,

Adopts the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ascontained in the annex to the present resolution.United Nations A/61/L.67

Agenda item 68

Report of the Human Rights CouncilBelgium, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador,Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Latvia, Nicaragua,Peru, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain: draft resolutionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The General Assembly,

Taking note of the recommendation of the Human Rights Council contained inits resolution 1/2 of 29 June 2006, by which the Council adopted the text of theUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,

Recalling its resolution 61/178 of 20 December 2006, by which it decided todefer consideration of and action on the Declaration to allow time for furtherconsultations thereon, and also decided to conclude its consideration before the endof the sixty-first session of the General Assembly,

Adopts the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ascontained in the annex to the present resolution.A/61/L.672 07-49830

Annex

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,and good faith in the fulfilment of the obligations assumed by States in accordancewith the Charter,

Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, whilerecognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different,and to be respected as such,

Affirming also that all peoples contribute to the diversity and richness ofcivilizations and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of humankind,

Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on oradvocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin orracial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legallyinvalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust,

Reaffirming that indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should befree from discrimination of any kind,

Concerned that indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices as aresult of, inter alia, their colonization and dispossession of their lands, territoriesand resources, thus preventing them from exercising, in particular, their right todevelopment in accordance with their own needs and interests,

Recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights ofindigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structuresand from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especiallytheir rights to their lands, territories and resources,

Recognizing also the urgent need to respect and promote the rights ofindigenous peoples affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructivearrangements with States,

Welcoming the fact that indigenous peoples are organizing themselves forpolitical, economic, social and cultural enhancement and in order to bring to an endall forms of discrimination and oppression wherever they occur,

Convinced that control by indigenous peoples over developments affectingthem and their lands, territories and resources will enable them to maintain andstrengthen their institutions, cultures and traditions, and to promote their development in accordance with their aspirations and needs,

Recognizing that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditionalpractices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and propermanagement of the environment,

Emphasizing the contribution of the demilitarization of the lands andterritories of indigenous peoples to peace, economic and social progress anddevelopment, understanding and friendly relations among nations and peoples of theworld, A/61/L.67 07-498303,

Recognizing in particular the right of indigenous families and communities toretain shared responsibility for the upbringing, training, education and well-being oftheir children, consistent with the rights of the child,

Considering that the rights affirmed in treaties, agreements and otherconstructive arrangements between States and indigenous peoples are, in somesituations, matters of international concern, interest, responsibility and character,

Considering also that treaties, agreements and other constructivearrangements, and the relationship they represent, are the basis for a strengthenedpartnership between indigenous peoples and States,

Acknowledging that the Charter of the United Nations, the InternationalCovenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights1 and the International Covenanton Civil and Political Rights as well as the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action2 affirm the fundamental importance of the right to self-determination of all peoples, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development,

Bearing in mind that nothing in this Declaration may be used to deny any peoples their right to self-determination, exercised in conformity with international law,

Convinced that the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples in thisDeclaration will enhance harmonious and cooperative relations between the Stateand indigenous peoples, based on principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, non-discrimination and good faith,

Encouraging States to comply with and effectively implement all theirobligations as they apply to indigenous peoples under international instruments, inparticular those related to human rights, in consultation and cooperation with the peoples concerned,

Emphasizing that the United Nations has an important and continuing role toplay in promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples,

Believing that this Declaration is a further important step forward for therecognition, promotion and protection of the rights and freedoms of indigenous peoples and in the development of relevant activities of the United Nations systemin this field,

Recognizing and reaffirming that indigenous individuals are entitled withoutdiscrimination to all human rights recognized in international law, and thatindigenous peoples possess collective rights which are indispensable for their existence, well-being and integral development as peoples,

Recognizing also that the situation of indigenous peoples varies from region toregion and from country to country and that the significance of national and regionalparticularities and various historical and cultural backgrounds should be taken into consideration,
__________________

1.  See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.2.  A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.A/61/L.674 07-49830Solemnly proclaims the following United Nations Declaration on the Rights ofIndigenous Peoples as a standard of achievement to be pursued in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect:

Article 1
Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or asindividuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in theCharter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights3 and international human rights law.

Article 2
Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples andindividuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in theexercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.

Article 3
Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Article 4
Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have theright to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and localaffairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.

Article 5
Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctpolitical, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their rightto participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and culturallife of the State.

Article 6
Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality.

Article 7
1. Indigenous individuals have the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, liberty and security of person.

2. Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peaceand security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any act of genocide orany other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group.

Article 8
1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected toforced assimilation or destruction of their culture.
2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
(a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of theirintegrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;
(b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of theirlands, territories or resources;
(c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect ofviolating or undermining any of their rights;
(d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration;
(e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnicdiscrimination directed against them.

Article 9
Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to belong to an indigenouscommunity or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of thecommunity or nation concerned. No discrimination of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right.

Article 10
Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands orterritories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.

Article 11
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their culturaltraditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop thepast, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological andhistorical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual andperforming arts and literature.

2. States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which mayinclude restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respectto their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without theirfree, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.

Article 12
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practice, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; theright to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to therepatriation of their human remains.

2. States shall seek to enable the access and/or repatriation of ceremonialobjects and human remains in their possession through fair, transparent and effectivemechanisms developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned.

Article 13
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmitto future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writingsystems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names forcommunities, places and persons.

2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protectedand also to ensure that indigenous peoples can understand and be understood inpolitical, legal and administrative proceedings, where necessary through the provision of interpretation or by other appropriate means.

Article 14
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control theireducational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, ina manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.

2. Indigenous individuals, particularly children, have the right to all levelsand forms of education of the State without discrimination.

3. States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, take effectivemeasures, in order for indigenous individuals, particularly children, including those living outside their communities, to have access, when possible, to an education in their own culture and provided in their own language.

Article 15
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information.

2. States shall take effective measures, in consultation and cooperation withthe indigenous peoples concerned, to combat prejudice and eliminate discriminationand to promote tolerance, understanding and good relations among indigenouspeoples and all other segments of society.

Article 16
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in theirown languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media withoutdiscrimination.

2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that State-owned mediaduly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. States, without prejudice to ensuring fullfreedom of expression, should encourage privately owned media to adequately reflect indigenous cultural diversity.

Article 17
1. Indigenous individuals and peoples have the right to enjoy fully all rightse stablished under applicable international and domestic labour law.

2. States shall in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples takespecific measures to protect indigenous children from economic exploitation andfrom performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with thechild’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual,moral or social development, taking into account their special vulnerability and theimportance of education for their empowerment.

3. Indigenous individuals have the right not to be subjected to anydiscriminatory conditions of labour and, inter alia, employment or salary.

Article 18
Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matterswhich would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves inaccordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions.

Article 19
States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.

Article 20
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities.
2. Indigenous peoples deprived of their means of subsistence and development are entitled to just and fair redress.

Article 21
1. Indigenous peoples have the right, without discrimination, to the improvement of their economic and social conditions, including, inter alia, in theareas of education, employment, vocational training and retraining, housing, sanitation, health and social security.

2. States shall take effective measures and, where appropriate, specialmeasures to ensure continuing improvement of their economic and socialconditions. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs ofindigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities.

Article 22
1. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs ofindigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities in theimplementation of this Declaration.2. States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, toensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guaranteesagainst all forms of violence and discrimination.

Article 23
Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities andstrategies for exercising their right to development. In particular, indigenous peopleshave the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housingand other economic and social programmes affecting them and, as far as possible, toadminister such programmes through their own institutions.

Article 24
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and tomaintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinalplants, animals and minerals. Indigenous individuals also have the right to access,without any discrimination, to all social and health services.

2. Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of thehighest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States shall take thenecessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of thisright.

Article 25
Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctivespiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and usedlands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold theirresponsibilities to future generations in this regard.

Article 26
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resourceswhich they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control thelands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownershipor other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwiseacquired.

3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands,territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect tothe customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoplesconcerned.

Article 27
States shall establish and implement, in conjunction with indigenous peoplesconcerned, a fair, independent, impartial, open and transparent process, giving duerecognition to indigenous peoples’ laws, traditions, customs and land tenuresystems, to recognize and adjudicate the rights of indigenous peoples pertaining totheir lands, territories and resources, including those which were traditionallyowned or otherwise occupied or used. Indigenous peoples shall have the right toparticipate in this process.

Article 28
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to redress, by means that can includerestitution or, when this is not possible, just, fair and equitable compensation, forthe lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwiseoccupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used ordamaged without their free, prior and informed consent.

2. Unless otherwise freely agreed upon by the peoples concerned,compensation shall take the form of lands, territories and resources equal in quality,size and legal status or of monetary compensation or other appropriate redress.

Article 29
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection ofthe environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories andresources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes forindigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination.

2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposalof hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenouspeoples without their free, prior and informed consent.

3. States shall also take effective measures to ensure, as needed, thatprogrammes for monitoring, maintaining and restoring the health of indigenouspeoples, as developed and implemented by the peoples affected by such materials,are duly implemented.

Article 30
1. Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories ofindigenous peoples, unless justified by a significant threat to relevant public interestor otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned.

2. States shall undertake effective consultations with the indigenous peoplesconcerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through theirrepresentative institutions, prior to using their lands or territories for militaryactivities.

Article 31
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect anddevelop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional culturalexpressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies andcultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge ofthe properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports andtraditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right tomaintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such culturalheritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.

2. In conjunction with indigenous peoples, States shall take effectivemeasures to recognize and protect the exercise of these rights.

Article 32
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities andstrategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.

2. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenouspeoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtaintheir free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting theirlands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with thedevelopment, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.

3. States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for anysuch activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverseenvironmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual impact.

Article 33
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine their own identity ormembership in accordance with their customs and traditions. This does not impairthe right of indigenous individuals to obtain citizenship of the States in which theylive.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the structures and toselect the membership of their institutions in accordance with their own procedures.

Article 34
Indigenous peoples have the right to promote, develop and maintain theirinstitutional structures and their distinctive customs, spirituality, traditions,procedures, practices and, in the cases where they exist, juridical systems orcustoms, in accordance with international human rights standards.

Article 35
Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the responsibilities ofindividuals to their communities.

Article 36
1. Indigenous peoples, in particular those divided by international borders,have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, includingactivities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with theirown members as well as other peoples across borders.

2. States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shalltake effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation ofthis right.

Article 37
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance andenforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concludedwith States or their successors and to have States honour and respect such treaties,agreements and other constructive arrangements.

2. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing oreliminating the rights of indigenous peoples contained in treaties, agreements andother constructive arrangements.

Article 38
States in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take theappropriate measures, including legislative measures, to achieve the ends of thisDeclaration.

Article 39
Indigenous peoples have the right to have access to financial and technicalassistance from States and through international cooperation, for the enjoyment ofthe rights contained in this Declaration.

Article 40
Indigenous peoples have the right to access to and prompt decision throughjust and fair procedures for the resolution of conflicts and disputes with States orother parties, as well as to effective remedies for all infringements of theirindividual and collective rights. Such a decision shall give due consideration to thecustoms, traditions, rules and legal systems of the indigenous peoples concerned andinternational human rights.

Article 41
The organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations system and otherintergovernmental organizations shall contribute to the full realization of theprovisions of this Declaration through the mobilization, inter alia, of financialcooperation and technical assistance. Ways and means of ensuring participation ofindigenous peoples on issues affecting them shall be established.

Article 42
The United Nations, its bodies, including the Permanent Forum on IndigenousIssues, and specialized agencies, including at the country level, and States shallpromote respect for and full application of the provisions of this Declaration andfollow up the effectiveness of this Declaration.

Article 43
The rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards for thesurvival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.

Article 44
All the rights and freedoms recognized herein are equally guaranteed to maleand female indigenous individuals.

Article 45
Nothing in this Declaration may be construed as diminishing or extinguishingthe rights indigenous peoples have now or may acquire in the future.

Article 46
1. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State,people, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any actcontrary to the Charter of the United Nations or construed as authorizing orencouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, theterritorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States.

2. In the exercise of the rights enunciated in the present Declaration, humanrights and fundamental freedoms of all shall be respected. The exercise of the rightsset forth in this Declaration shall be subject only to such limitations as aredetermined by law, and in accordance with international human rights obligations.Any such limitations shall be non-discriminatory and strictly necessary solely forthe purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms ofothers and for meeting the just and most compelling requirements of a democraticsociety.

3. The provisions set forth in this Declaration shall be interpreted inaccordance with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights,equality, non-discrimination, good governance and good faith.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2015 09:59
 

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