2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

This text box is referred to in the book as Box 8.2 (Page 152)

In September 2007 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration had been negotiated for over twenty years between nation states and indigenous representatives.

143 nations voted in favour of the Declaration with 11 abstentions and only four nations (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States) voting against.

Survival International director Stephen Corry said, ‘The declaration on indigenous peoples, with its recognition of collective rights, will raise international standards in the same way as the universal declaration on human rights did nearly 60 years ago. It sets a benchmark by which the treatment of tribal and indigenous peoples can be judged, and we hope it will usher in an era in which abuse of their rights is no longer tolerated.’[1]

The declaration recognises the rights of indigenous peoples to ownership of their land and to live as they wish. It also affirms that they should not be moved from their lands without their free and informed consent.

[1] Survival International is an organisation which supports tribal peoples. It was founded in 1969. www.survival-international.org