International Human Rights Day

press releases

Human Rights Day would have been celebrated - PFII
UN's human rights record challenged
AOS caucus calls for progress on self-determination

Caucus appeals to Russian President

General Assembly missed opportunity - Stavenhagen

IPACC quotes African Charter on Rights
Namibia slammed for killing UN rights resolution
Civil society organisations condemn delay on Declaration
UNGA fails to bring hope to Indigenous Peoples
Tonatierra defends right of self-determination
Defenders of human rights must support indigenous rights
States are acting irresponsibly - NWAC
Canada accused of disgraceful, disgusting conduct at UN
ILRC continue fight to adopt Declaration
Africa denies Saami and Inuit rights to self-determination
Third Committee defers action on indigenous declaration
Key UN committee delays action on declaration

General Assembly President, HE Madame Sheika Heya Rashed Al Khalifa, receives greetings from Indigenous delegate, Jose Carlos Morales. The President listened to requests that the Indigenous Peoples be acknowledged in the General Assembly when the Declaration is formally adopted.

for more information
on the Declaration

Permanent Forum on
Indigenous Issues

Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights

Documentation Centre
for Indigenous Peoples

Tebtebba Foundation

International Indian Treaty Council

American Indian Law Alliance

International Work Group
for Indigenous Affairs

Rights and Democracy

Amnesty International, Canada

University of Minnesota
Human Rights Library

(Download Kit)

Letter to States by
Special Rapporteur & Chair of PFII

Letter to States by
Indigenous Peoples Caucus

Letter to States by
Ambassadors to UN

Ten Key Points

Declaration (download)

How States voted in the
Human Rights Council

13 October 2006

View Webcast Video - 42 minutes

This media conference occurred at the UN on 13 October 2006 to discuss the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples including its history, significance and current status.

H.E. Mr Enrique Berruga, Permanent Representative of Mexico;
Mr Aqqaluk Lynge

Innuit Circumpolar Conference
Mr Kent Lebsock
Executive Director
American Indian Law Alliance
Ms Elsa Stamatopoulou
Chief, Secretariat, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;


Press Release

Statement by UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People, on the General Assembly's decision not to adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

4 December 2006

The Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, is concerned about the recent decision of the General Assembly to adjourn consideration of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is disappointing that the General Assembly missed the opportunity to assert its principled support of this important human rights instrument on the occasion of this year's Human Rights Day, and as a major contribution to the world's human rights.

The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the Human Rights Council, the United Nations' main human rights authority, during its first session in June 2006. The Declaration is the result of many years of discussion and negotiation among the states members of the Human Rights Commission, with the active participation of representatives of the world's indigenous peoples.

It is now incumbent upon the Human Rights Council to reaffirm its commitment in promoting and protecting the dignity, survival and well-being of the millions of indigenous people around the world whose rights have long been ignored and neglected, when not actually breached in practice.

Indigenous people expect the Human Rights Council as well as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and other UN agencies, to continue promoting the provisions of the Declaration for the protection of the human rights of their members and communities. Much can be done over the next few years, and in the current restructuring of the Council's mechanisms a space must be found to ensure the continuing participation of indigenous representatives in debates concerning the application of international human rights standards to the particular circumstances of indigenous peoples.

The Special Rapporteur hopes that the General Assembly may reconsider its position and adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the earliest possible moment.