Posts Tagged ‘ILO Convention 169’

Earth Peoples co-founder José Carlos Morales term at UN Independent Experts on the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples expired

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) was established by the Human Rights Council, the UN’s main human rights body, in 2007 under Resolution 6/36 as a subsidiary body of the Human Rights Council.

We are very proud that José Carlos Morales, one of Earth Peoples co-founders, served since the beginning of EMRIP for the period 2008 – 2013 as one of five independent experts. His term expired this month, after five years of devotion and hard work to strengthen the indigenous cause for indigenous peoples worldwide.

José Carlos Morales (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

José Carlos Morales (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

José Carlos Morales, from the indigenous people Brunka Indians (also known as the Boruca or the Brunca) was also the first indigenous Latin American to be honored to be the president of the World Council of Indigenous People, as well as earning the title as the Focal Point of the Decade for Indigenous People in the United Nations. Morales also presided as president of the Regional Council of Indigenous People, making him a true source of pride for his people, the Brunka Tribe from Costa Rica.

He also proudly represented the World Enclave of Indigenous People for three whole years before becoming involved with the United Nations, where he was one of the active indigenous leaders during the United Nations Declaration on the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights negotiation process.

He is certainly known an “old timer” in the world’s global indigenous movement, together with many others that have devoted their live, time and money to push for indigenous rights at the local, national and international level, such as Andrea Carmen (IITC), Kenneth Deer and Petuuche Gilbert from IWA, Mililani Trask, Hector Huertas, Tanya Frichner (AILA), Saudata Aboubacrine,  Arthur Manuel (INET),  (Wilton Littechild (IRIOD) among many others.

Wilton Littechild’s and Annie Lasimbang’s term as EMRIP independent experts’ expire next year, in 2014.

The Expert Mechanism is made up of five independent experts on the rights of indigenous peoples. The experts are appointed by the Human Rights Council which is to give due regard to experts of indigenous origin as well as to gender balance and geographic representation.

More information about the members of the Expert Mechanism can be found here:
members of the Expert Mechanism.

Also watch the video about the Expert Mechanism, which has been produced to raise awareness about the Expert Mechanism.
Watch:VIDEO

Work done so far, and published on EMRIPs website:

Expert Mechanism Advice
In association with each of its studies, and the associated theme, the Expert Mechanism drafts advice to contribute to international jurisprudence being developed on the issue under study.

Advice No 4 (2012) on Indigenous peoples and the right to participate in decision making, with a focus on extractive industries
IAdvice No 3 (2012) on Indigenous peoples’ languages and cultures
Advice No 2 (2011) on Indigenous peoples and the right to participate in decision making
Advice No. 1 (2009) on the Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Education

THE DATES FOR THE SIXTH SESSION OF THE EXPERT MECHANISM ARE 8 – 12 JULY 2013 IN GENEVA AT THE UNITED NATIONS PALAIS DES NATIONS

How to get accreditation for the sessions of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:

Click here for information and forms on HOW TO PARTICIPATE

According to paragraph 9 of resolution 6/36, the meeting of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples shall be open to the participation of observers through an open and transparent accreditation procedure in accordance with the rules of the Human Rights Council.

What we like about Geneva, and the United Nations Human Rights folks up there is that they understand the needs of representatives of indigenous peoples organizations and representatives of NGOs not in consultative status with ECOSOC, and you are allowed to register; (You do NOT need status to the UN).

Procedure

Those required to complete the online registration process to attend the next session of the Expert Mechanism are invited to complete the three steps accreditation procedure by:

Preparing a letter requesting accreditation, according to the description below, which can be uploaded to the online registration form.
Complete the online registration form, Spanish and French (include the letter requesting accreditation and the registration information).
Print, fill and bring to the session the Conference Registration Form (no need to be sent to the Secretariat).

TODAY: The ILO Convention No. 169 debate at the German Bundestag – since 24 years Rights of Indigenous Peoples still not recognized by the Germans

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Himba women from Omuhonga, Namibia (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Himba women from Omuhonga, Namibia (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

By Rebecca Sommer

The year 2013 marks the 24th anniversary of the final adoption of the historic United Nations ILO convention No. 169 (Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169)). Together with the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other human rights instruments, the Convention is key for the promotion and protection of the rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.

As a Convention it entails the international set of laws for Indigenous Peoples that are “binding” for those countries that ratified it. Since adoption, the ILO Convention No. 169 has been crucial in changing, correcting and shaping national policies, programs and laws regarding the rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples worldwide, particularly in ratifying countries.

Yanomami from Papiuu Novo (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Yanomami from Papiuu Novo (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

And that is the very reason why most governments refuse to ratify it.

German parties that argue today against the ratification of the ILO 169 should be ashamed of themselves.

Big business oriented Parties such as the CDU and FDP argument for example, that there are no Indigenous Peoples in Germany (they can be lucky that the Friesen People don’t claim indigenous status) and lie about the very reason why they do not want to do right by giving rights to the Indigenous Peoples of the world.

In order to protect German companies, governmental and financial institutions’ economical interests that want the very resources from Indigenous Peoples lands and territories, certain German parties don’t want to do the right thing and sign the ILO 169. They want to get a freebee. With no strings (rights) attached.

In support of the ILO Convention ratification, members of the SPD and the Green party applied for the discussion on the previous denial of Germany to ratify the Convention, but the discussion moved back on the agenda item to about 1am – tomorrow morning. In other words, there won’t be a discussion at all. You see, for them it is that easy.

 Diné Bikéyah Grandma Ana (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Diné Bikéyah Grandma Ana (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

They forgot that we depend on the Indigenous Peoples as Indigenous Peoples  depend on our “leaders” to sign laws that do right, such as the ILO Convention.

We are all connected. Indigenous Peoples are caretakers of the last few spots of intact environments in the world. And they would be able to continue doing so, if states such as Germany would support them. And that benefits ultimately humanity.

Indigenous Peoples maintained their traditional knowledge from time immemorial, and they continue to forward it to the next generations. You and I can survive many diseases because of what they have taught pharmaceutical researchers. Indigenous Peoples are the keepers of an enormous variety of traditional knowledge that is ancient, molded and shaped through centuries.

24 years have passed, since the ILO Convention 169 was adopted. Indigenous Peoples are growingly pushed against the wall and are in despair, marginalized, often killed in the ever increasing vicious globalized capitalist economical war for land, the last bit’s of first growth forests, any resources, the water, now even the air (through programs such as REDD, carbon credits for trees on Indigenous land that “in theory-but not really” would absorb the CO2 emissions, including those – so the plan – from Germany).  It is truly alarming how slick and sinister German elected representatives of the German people kick human rights into the mud.

Across the world, Indigenous /Tribal Peoples’ lands are being stolen and their communities and way of life destroyed. ILO Convention 169 is the only international law designed to protect their collective rights as a people.

You can help.

If you are German, please take a moment and send to your governmental representatives a clear message (you find all contacts on the internet- write them), speak about it at your schools, universities, at work, collect signatures, – do something. Your taxes fund many projects that affect and even murder vulnerable Indigenous Tribal Peoples.

And…next time you vote, think carefully where you put your cross.

NAMIBIA: INDIGENOUS SEMI-NOMADIC HIMBA AND ZEMBA MARCH IN PROTEST AGAINST DAM, MINING AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

By Rebecca Sommer

Namibia, 23 Nov 2012: Hundreds of semi-nomadic Himba from Omuhonga and Epupa region marched today from their villages to Okanguati, a small town about 120 km away from Opuwo, to protest against Namibia’s human rights violations against them.

(Photo © Rebecca Sommer) Chief Hikuminae Kapika signing the invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous Peoples to visit them

(Photo © Rebecca Sommer) Chief Hikuminae Kapika signing the invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous Peoples to visit them

These violations, documented and signed by the Himba chiefs of the entire Himba territory (Kaokoland) in two historic Declarations have been submitted by Earth Peoples to the United Nations on February 23rd in 2012.

The Himba from Epupa and Omuhonga also wrote an invitation letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was forwarded to him on their behalf by Earth Peoples.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, James Anaya, visited the Himba in September 2012, where a Himba spokesperson read aloud the “DECLARATION BY THE TRADITIONAL HIMBA LEADERS OF KAOKOLAND IN NAMIBIA” to him. You can read the UN Special Rapporteur’s statement about his country visit to Namibia here.

“We invited Namibian Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC) to come, but they refused to attend our protest manifestation” said Motjimbika Mutambo, a respected community leader from Himba village Omuhonga.“We handed our petition and demands to our elected Epupa Regional Councillor, the Honorable Muharukua, with the expectation that he will forward it to the President” Mutambo added.

Councillor Muharukua, who is a Herero, explains the problems of the Himba people in this Video with English subtites

(Photo © Rebecca Sommer) Muhapika Munjombara signing the "DECLARATION OF THE MOST AND DIRECTLY AFFECTED OVAHIMBA, OVATWA, OVATJIMBA AND OVAZEMBA AGAINST THE OROKAWE DAM IN THE BAYNES MOUNTAIN

(Photo © Rebecca Sommer) Muhapika Munjombara signing the Himba Declaration

“We don’t understand why we have to repeat ourselves over and over again, and the Government of Namibia is not listening to us, and is continuing to push for the construction of the dam in the Baynes Mountains without our consent. We collectively refused the money offered to our communities and families that would have to relocate” said Hikuminae Kapika, the Chief from the area of Epupa and Omuhonga. “We have these big mining companies making holes in our land, making roads where we graze our herds, and we don’t want that. We don’t know what they are digging out, we have no idea what they do to our water and land, and we don’t want them here. Nobody asked us for our permission.” He added.

“If the government is going to build the dam they better kill us first before they do that. This is our land. We are the original inhabitants and true owners. But since independence, the Government of Namibia has dispossessed us from our rights to our land, and our rights to decide what is being done with and on it.” Said Muhapika Munjombara.

Members of the indigenous peoples Zemba also attended the protest march. They also submitted through Earth Peoples their Human Rights violation Declaration to the United Nations.

In the Zemba Declaration,  it is stated:

Zemba/Ovazemba  (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Zemba/Ovazemba (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

In the past our appointed leaders had to belong to the royal house, but that has changed over the time. Today, we elect our leaders. But to our great grievance, Namibia denies us not only our rightful place as legitimate Namibian citizens, with untrue claims that we are refugees from Angola, but also denies us our right to our land, and to choose our own representatives and leaders.

We demand that we get our right to choose our own representatives and leaders, and to be allowed to administer our internal affairs, including our territory and land, and to rule our affairs with our own customary laws and traditional courts.

We demand that the Government of Namibia recognizes without delay our chief as the legally recognized Zemba Traditional Authority.

TO READ:

DECLARATION OF THE ZEMBA PEOPLE OF NAMIBIA
DECLARATION OF THE MOST DIRECTLY AFFECTED OVAHIMBA, OVATWA, OVATJIMBA AND OVAZEMBA AGAINST THE OROKAWE DAM IN THE BAYNES MOUNTAINS
DECLARATION BY THE TRADITIONAL HIMBA LEADERS OF KAOKOLAND IN NAMIBIA

Himba women at human rights meeting with Earth Peoples (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Himba women at human rights meeting with Earth Peoples (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

To watch Video of cultural Himba dance during one of Earth Peoples human rights awareness raising meetings in Omuhonga CLICK VIDEO
To watch other videos about Himba human rights complaints, click here

Himba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Zemba at Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Zemba at Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

National Indigenous Peoples Organization from Brazil submitted Human Rights Complaints Documents to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Geneva, 13.11.2012   At a meeting with various UN officials from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the organization National Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) submitted a document that listed human rights violations and complaints about proposed laws in Brazil that would, if approved, undermine or even entirely remove indigenous peoples rights.

One of the law’s, Ordinance 303, was already approved but awaits the final decision by the Brazilian Supreme Court, which is currently considering if it is actually constitutional.

It would be truly disastrous if this law would become active, because it denies the indigenous peoples their right to say no to projects on their land, such as streets, mining projects, or hydroelectric dams. Brazil’s Ordinance 303 would violate rights that are international human rights standard,  such as the ILO Convention 169, or the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, because the Ordinance would deny indigenous peoples their right to be consulted, and to decide freely, without pressure, prior informed if the want to consent to a development project on their territory, or not.

Another proposed law, PEC 215, is also causing many sleepless nights for indigenous leaders in Brazil. Still awaiting the approval by Congress, this law would literally dissolve the rights of indigenous peoples to their traditional territories.

To read the original document submitted by APIB to the OHCHR in Portuguese CLICK HERE