Navajo Nation blasts United States human rights record

The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission <a href="Navajo Human Rights Commission stated “>stated that the United States has consistently failed to protect the Navajo Nation and its people.

The report will be presented next month in Geneva, Switzerland, to 192 dignitaries of the United Nations Human Rights Council as part of the U.N. Universal Periodic Review of its members on human rights obligations. The United States is up for review this year and made its report to the U.N. on this subject on Aug. 23.

The Navajo Human Rights Commission commends the U.S. State Department for recognizing the “virtue” of indigenous people and sovereign government, but it also states that the “United States fails to meet its human rights obligations to indigenous peoples. These transgressions need to be accounted for.”

The commission points out three main failures: the failure to protect sacred or religious sites, the forced relocation of Navajo under federal legislation, and rights of the Navajo to self-determination.

The Commission response to the U.S. report to the UN states: “The United States restricted property rights and interest in the lands of the Diné and Hopi peoples without their free, prior and informed consent and thereby imposing a foreign system of property valuation. (Relocates and their descendants) are now denied the opportunity to learn, participate and pass on the Diné traditional Life Way.”

The response also includes questions the Navajo Human Rights Commission is requesting the U.N. Human Rights Council to ask of the United States, including – When will the United States endorse the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?

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