This week in Geneva, the Human Rights Council will negotiate and adopt the annual resolution on indigenous peoples, including recommendations regarding the mandates of the Special Rapporteur and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.On, Wednesday 18, a half-day session will be devoted to a discussion on the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. We hope the session will influence the Human Rights Council’s Resolution to include indigenous peoples’ own priorities for the World Conference as reflected in the Alta Outcome Document
During the 24th session, both the UN Special Rapporteur and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) will present their findings with regards to two crucial issues for indigenous peoples:
More information about the session can be found on the IWGA web site
|Indigenous Peoples, Business and Human Rights
Later this fall, in New York, another report on business and indigenous peoples’ access to remedy and justice will be presented to the UN General Assembly by the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.The report
explores the relevance and applicability of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for indigenous peoples affected by business operations and seeks to provide guidance to enterprises, indigenous peoples and governments wishing to safeguard protection of indigenous peoples’ rights during the planning and execution of business operations.
The report particularly calls on governments and enterprises to respect indigenous peoples’ customary law and encourages to further explore the use of customary law as a remedy instrument in conflicts involving indigenous peoples and business enterprises.
Shortcomings of the report
It must, however, be noted that the Working Group is not yet ready to fully embrace some of the core demands raised by civil society regarding regulation of business activities.
Notably, in line with the Guiding Principles, the report encourages states to undertake voluntary measures, but fails to acknowledge that home states of transnational corporations are legally obliged to regulate their operations abroad with regards to human rights.
Out and About
IWGIA’s director Lola Garcia Alix is attending the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Apart from attending the discussion on indigenous peoples’ rights she will participate in the presentation of the report prepared by the Universal Periodic Review Working Group. Civil society will be able to give comments and discuss the recommendations of the report including from the reviews of Bangladesh, Colombia, Cameroon, and the Russian Federation.Also this week, Environment and Climate Change Coordinator, Kathrin Wessendorf, and Human Rights and Climate Change Advisor, Ida Peters Ginsborg, are attending the High Level Week of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in New York to support indigenous peoples’ involvement in the post 2015 development process.
Here you can see all the activities involved in the High Level Week (updated regularly)
IWGIA’s Asia coordinators Chris Erni and Christina Nilsson joined our regional partner AIPP for their Executive Council on 17 August in Chiang Mai and used the opportunity for consultations on IWGIAs new Asia Strategy.
Last week in Germany, Asia coordinator Chris Erni participated in an expert workshop co-organised by the World Bank’s FCPF, UN-REDD and Germany’s Ministry for Cooperation. The aim was to identify practical approaches to provide for full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in REDD+ with an emphasis on national decision-making processes.
IWGIAs Latin America coordinator, Alejandro Parellada is travelling this week to monitor projects in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. More on this is our next newsletter.
The last week of August, Africa coordinator Genevieve Rose visited our partner organisation UNIPROBA (Unissions-nous Pour des Batwa du Burundi) in Burundi, where IWGIA has supported a land distribution programme from 2007 to 2011. In the community of Bubanza, Rugezia District, Rose witnessed how 85 Batwa families are now able to construct houses, breed cows and do small-scale farming on their land.