New manual aims to further practical implementation of the UNDRIP
The new manual “The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions”, by the the Asia Pacific Forum and the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, aims at increased engagement by national human rights institutions in ensuring that human rights, including indigenous peoples’ rights, become a reality.
The role of national human rights institutions 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 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 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 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and its effect 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. Indigenous peoples still experience discrimination 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.