|Resources||Human Rights Standards||Case Studies||Consolidated Replies||Related Links|
|Region:||Asia & Pacific|
|Author:||Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, Forest Peoples Programme, Marcus Colchester and Sophie Chao (eds)|
|Country:||Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand|
|Region:||Africa, Asia & Pacific, Latin America & Caribbean|
|Resource Type:||Case Study|
|Author:||Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues|
|Country:||Bangladesh, Belize, Cambodia, Guyana, LAO, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tanzania, Zimbabwe|
|Region:||Latin America & Caribbean|
|Tool:||HRBA in Programming Cycle|
|Country:||Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru|
|Language:||Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish|
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2006) This 2006 Declaration affirms that indigenous peoples are equal to all other people in their contributions to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures, and rejects all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust. As such, indigenous peoples should be free from discrimination of any kind, promoting the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples to their and socio-political and economic structures, cultural traditions and beliefs, spiritual traditions, and especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources. It further recognizes indigenous peoples’ right to and benefit from self-determination and control over their institutions, lands, and resources.
The International Labour Convention (ILO) on the Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, No. 169, adopted by the International Labour Conference on 27 June 1989. The Convention is the up to date most advance international treaty specifically targeted at the advancement of the rights of indigenous peoples. The Convention includes a number of provisions regarding, inter alia, administration of justice and indigenous customary law; the rights to consultation and to participation; the rights over lands, territories and natural resources; labor and social rights; bilingual education, and trans-border cooperation.
The International Labour Convention (ILO) on the Rights of Indigenous, Tribal and Semi-Tribal Populations in Independent Countries, No. 107, adopted by the International Labour Conference on 26 June 1957. Replaced by Convention Nº 169, it is still binding upon those States that, having ratified it, have not yet ratified the later instrument. Even though some of its provisions are outdated and endorse an assimilationist approach, others remain still valid.
Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (1989) The Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention is an international instrument promoting government obligations to develop, coordinate and protect the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples and to guarantee respect for their integrity. It further states that indigenous and tribal peoples have the right to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms without discrimination, and included measures to protect the persons, institutions, property, labour, cultures and environment of the peoples concerned – this includes their social, cultural, religious and spiritual values and practices. In regard to national laws, consideration to their customs and customary laws should be given. It further stipulates that penalties should be issued by law for unauthorized intrusion or use of their lands of the peoples concerned and governments should take appropriate measures to prevent unauthorized intrusions or use. The rights to employment, equal pay for equal work, occupational safety and health, medical and social assistance, right to association, right to education and freedom for lawful trade union activities are also included in this convention.
Visit this OHCHR webpage for a list of downloadable UN Resolutions regarding Indigenous Peoples.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) has several provisions relevant to the context of indigenous peoples including the right to self-determination (article 1) and the rights of national, ethnic, and linguistic minorities. (article 1) (article 27).
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) has several provisions relevant in the specific context of indigenous peoples, including the right to adequate housing; the right to food; the right to education; the right to health, the right to water, and intellectual property rights.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) has paid an increased attention on the situation of the human rights of indigenous peoples through its different procedures. See General observation No. 23 (Indigenous Peoples).
The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) has paid a special attention to the situation of indigenous women as particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. See, e.g.,General Recommendation No. 24 (Women and health).
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) explicitly refers to the rights of indigenous children.
The Convention on the Biological Diversity (1993) affirms the rights of “indigenous and local communities” over their “knowledge, innovations and practices…embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity” and to be involved in their wider application and to participate in the equitable sharing arising from them.
Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (2001)
The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action contains a specific section addressing discrimination toward Indigenous Peoples, and is the first United Nations document that uses the phrase “Indigenous Peoples” rather than “Indigenous People”.
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (1993)
The Vienna Declaration is the closing declaration of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights held in Austria. It “recognizes the inherent dignity and the unique contribution of indigenous people to the development and plurality of society and strongly reaffirms the commitment of the international community to their economic, social and cultural well-being.”
Furthermore, the declaration called for the completion of the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the renewal and updating of the mandate of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations and the proclamation of the International Decade of Indigenous Peoples.
Rio Declaration of Environment and Development and Agenda 21 (1992)
These two documents are connected to the Derived from the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, these documents note the intrinsic relationship between Indigenous Peoples with their land, culture and resources. Further, it finds that the traditional knowledge and practices of Indigenous Peoples play a critical role in environmental management and development of their land and territories (Rio Declaration, Principle 22). As such, it concludes that self-determination and management over their land and resources is vital to development (Agenda 21, Chapter 26.4).