We are working toward a strong American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the Organization of American States. The American Declaration would affirm the right of self-determination, rights to education, health, self-government, culture, lands, territories and natural resources, and it would include provisions that address the particular situation of indigenous peoples in the Americas.
The American Declaration will be a comprehensive, regional human rights instrument that promotes and protects the rights of indigenous peoples in North, Central, and South America, and in the Caribbean. Importantly, the American Declaration can be used to ensure that states respect indigenous peoples’ rights through its application within the Inter-American Human Rights System.
The OAS Working Group on the draft American Declaration began its work on the draft text in 1997 and hosted several rounds of negotiations before suspending its work in 2012 due to a lack of funding. In December, 2014, the Chair of the Working Group announced that the process would resume in 2015, by hosting monthly negotiations with the goal of finalizing the text.
During the negotiations, the Center plays a key role in hosting preparatory meetings ahead of the negotiations with indigenous peoples from the Americas, developing proposals and strategies, and providing legal support to indigenous leaders attending the negotiations.