Annual report to the Human Rights Council including parts on violence against indigenous women and extractive industries
News release by Special Rapporteur James Anaya, 2 September 2012

ARIZONA, USA: In his recently released annual report to the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides a summary of his activities since his previous report to the Council, including his examination of the thematic issue of violence against indigenous women; and progress in the continuing study of issues relating to extractive industries operating in or near indigenous territories. With regard to violence against indigenous women, he notes that States should avoid responses that tend to limit, undermine or replace indigenous peoples’ own authority and self-governance, including blanket limitations of the jurisdiction of indigenous traditional judicial systems. At the same time, there is a need for indigenous peoples themselves to continue to strengthen their own organizational and local governance capacity, and their own justice institutions, to meet the challenges faced by their communities.  

On extractive industries, he notes that a focus on the rights implicated in the context of a specific extractive or development project is an indispensable starting point for discussions involving extractive industries operating in or near indigenous lands. Consultation and free, prior and informed consent standards are best conceptualized as safeguards against measures that may affect indigenous peoples’ rights. The Special Rapporteur also suggests that the “protect, respect and remedy” framework, which is incorporated into the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, should apply to advance the specific rights of indigenous peoples in the same way as it applies to advance human rights more generally. He notes that a fundamental problem with the current model of natural resource extraction is that the plans are developed with little or no involvement of the affected indigenous community of peoples concerned, and the corporation is both in control and the primary beneficiary of the extractive operation. He suggests that a new model more conducive to indigenous peoples’ self-determination is needed. Read the release … Download the report [pdf] …