UN Rapporteur on Rights and Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples to visit United States

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Professor James Anaya will conduct his first official country visit to the United States from April 23rd – May 4th, 2012.  The purpose of his visit will be to review the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the U.S.  He will also follow-up on information submitted for his current thematic study on the impact of extractive industries on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Declaration was adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13th 2007.  On December 16, 2010, the United States became the last country to express support of the Declaration.

During his visit, Special Rapporteur Anaya will meet with US officials and agencies to review their implementation of the Declaration’s provisions into policies and practices.  He will also collect information from Indigenous Peoples, Nations,Tribes and organizations through several events and site visits.  Dates have been provisionally set for one, at the University of Arizona in Tucson Arizona April 26 – 27.  Plans for up to 4 additional events in the East Coast, Midwest and Northwest are still under development. There will also be an opportunity for on-line and mail-in submissions.

The “UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People” was established by the UN Commission on Human Rights in 2001 in response to a resolution presented by Indigenous Peoples’ organizations.  The Special Rapporteur’s mandate is to promote good practices for the implementation of international standards for the rights of Indigenous Peoples; report on the human rights situations of Indigenous Peoples; address specific cases of alleged violations; and conduct thematic studies on topics of special importance to promote and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples.  The mandate was renewed and its name changed to the “UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” by the Human Rights Council in 2010.

For additional information, log onto the website of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or visit the UN OHCHR website. You can also send an email to indigenous@ohchr.org.

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