Human Rights

For too long, indigenous peoples around the world have been marginalized and subject to unjust and discriminatory legal systems of states. Large disparities in economic and political power make indigenous peoples especially vulnerable to wrong-doing. For more than 30 years, we have worked to build a legal framework to help indigenous peoples win recognition of their human rights, including: right to exist as distinct peoples and cultures; right to be free from discrimination and forced assimilation; and right of self-determination and other essential rights.

We invite you to review the Center’s Human Rights work and get involved:

How the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples can be used to protect against a Trump Agenda

This month marks the anniversary of the U.S. endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The United Nations adopted the Declaration in September, 2007, but it took three additional years for it to gain the support of the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, the only states to vote against it.

UN expands monitoring body for Indigenous Human Rights

The 10th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), which took place July 10-14, 2017, included a discussion of its new mandate and working methods. The expanded mandate is a result of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples of 2014, which requested the Council review EMRIP with a view to improve its mandate to better serve as an effective implementing and monitoring body for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Indigenous Peoples’ rights more important now than ever

In a season of reckless threats and racist and misogynistic rhetoric, of xenophobia and border walls, indigenous peoples’ rights are at risk, whether intended targets or not. Right now, the Senate is considering a budget that calls for $1.6 billion for "high-priority tactical infrastructure and border security technology." This border wall that is envisioned by President Trump and U.S. lawmakers would cut across at least half a dozen Native American lands including Yuma, Apache, Yaqui, Pima, Kickapoo and Tohono O’odham.

Indigenous leaders call for implementation of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

June 20, 2017 (Español) | Indigenous leaders are in Cancun, Mexico, this week calling on the Organization of American States (OAS) to take action during its 47th General Assembly to implement the promises in the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted June 15, 2

Líderes indígenas hacen un llamado a la implementación de la Declaración Americana sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas

June 20, 2017 ENGLISH | Esta semana, líderes indígenas se encuentran en Cancún, México exigiendo que la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) adopte medidas durante su 47° Asamblea General para implementar la Declaración Americana sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas, la cual fue adoptada el 15 de Juni

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: 10 year Anniversary

It is hard to believe that on September 13, 2017, a decade will have passed since the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Over the last ten years, we have continued our work to ensure the promises in the Declaration are realized and, in spite of some challenges, we have seen some good progress in laws, policies, and practices locally and internationally.

About the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will help protect our self-determination rights, our rights to our territories and natural resources, our right to sustainable development and to the healthy environment on which indigenous peoples physical and cultural survival depends. It will also help to ensure respect for the practices, traditions, laws, and cultural values of indigenous people.

Mayan leadership learns how to hold development banks accountable for human rights violations

Multilateral development banks play a key role in financing large-scale development projects, such as dams and forestry initiatives, that have often had devastating impacts on indigenous people and their communities. The Center led a workshop on the United Nations System and multilateral development banks for the traditional and ancestral authorities of the Mayan Nation.

Support the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced May 27, 2016, that due to a financial crisis it would be severely limited in its ability to fulfill its mandate by the Organization of American States (OAS) to promote respect for human rights in the region. We ask you to join us in creating awareness about the value of the IACHR and call for steps necessary to fund the Commission. #savetheIACHR #SalvemosLaCIDH

Update: Five Year Anniversary of the US Endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Dec. 16, 2015 marks the fifth anniversary of the U.S. announcement of its support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Since 2010, tribal leaders have been working vigorously to implement the UN Declaration at all levels which includes law and policy reform, changes in administrative practices, and long-term efforts to correct conditions that impede tribal development or that undermine tribes’ right to self-determination, cultural rights, and resource rights.

Indigenous Caucus withdraws from negotiations on the American Declaration

May 15, 2015, the Indigenous Caucus of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas withdrew from the 18th session of the negotiations on the draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Negotiations hit a stalemate when a few OAS states introduced text for the American Declaration that would have reduced rights already recognized in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Human Rights

For too long, indigenous peoples around the world have been marginalized and subject to unjust and discriminatory legal systems of states. Large disparities in economic and political power make indigenous peoples especially vulnerable to wrong-doing. Changing and reforming the legal framework for indigenous peoples has always been at the core of the Center’s work.

Program:

Human Rights Training

The Center provides training and legal information in order to expand the number of Indian leaders and community members who participate in international human rights procedures. We help indigenous leaders to promote and defend their human rights, to use human rights law to change domestic law and to use their political power to change the United States’ policies concerning international human rights law.

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