DOCUMENTS FOR THE
IACHR PRESENTATION TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF ITS DRAFT AMERICAN
DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS
PREPARATION OF A JURIDICAL INSTRUMENT ON INDIGENOUS RIGHTS
SECOND ROUND OF CONSULTATIONS
At its 95th Regular Session, the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights approved the proposed American Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples, pursuant to a recommendation of the General Assembly
to that end (AG/RES. 1022 (XIX-0/89).
This proposal includes suggestions and comments from the
governments, indigenous and intergovernmental organizations, experts,
and special meetings of consultation that were held between October of
1995 and February of 1997, based on a draft consultation approved by the
IACHR at its 90th Regular Session.
It takes also in account the work being done by the United
Nations (AG/RES. 1404 (XXVI-O/96).
As specified in Recommendation 8 of Chapter VII in this Annual
Report, this proposal is being submitted to the General Assembly and to
its Permanent Council, and
it is being made public by the Commission so that it can be considered
at the next General Assembly and, in detail, by the governments, peoples
and interested organizations, so that it can be approved by the member
countries at the 1998 General Assembly, in commemoration of the
Organization's 50th anniversary.
BACKGROUND OF THE SECOND ROUND OF CONSULTATIONS
In October of 1995, the Commission embarked on a broad round of
concerning the questionnaire which it had drawn up and approved at that
time, based on previous consultations, national constitutions and
legislation, international instruments and statements on this subject.
The questionnaire was widely circulated to governments and to
hundreds of indigenous organizations, experts and other entities which
were asked to present their comments. The text was also disseminated by news media.
A number of different mechanisms were used for the purpose of
this consultation: a) direct consultation by correspondence, as noted
above; b) presentation and discussion of the questionnaire at
specialized technical meetings; c)
consultation of indigenous population at a national and multinational
level; and d) regional meetings.
The draft was presented and examined at various technical
meetings: in Arequipa, Peru, at the "First World Meeting of
Indigenous Peoples" which was organized by the World Council of
Indigenous Peoples in October of 1955; in Ottawa at the "Widening
the Circle" on February 27, 1996, meeting organized by FOCAL, the
University of Ottawa and the World Council of Indigenous Peoples,
attended by more than 100 delegates from the entire Hemisphere; in
Guatemala City, organized by the Inter-American Institute of Human
Rights in March of 1996; at the General Kuna Congress in Ogubscun,
Panama, in 1996; and at the 1996 Sovereignty Symposium, held in Tulsa,
NATIONAL AND REGIONAL CONSULTATIONS
For the national and regional consultations, the IACHR acted as
coordinator, with assistance from the Inter-American Indian Institute;
the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy; the Inter-American Institute of
Human Rights; and the Inter-American Fund for the Development of
Indigenous Peoples (whose headquarters are in Bolivia) and with
cooperation from the Inter-American Development Bank.
The following national consultations were held:
Organization Responsible: ORIANA
(The Andean Indigenous Regional Organization of Northern Argentina).
Coverage: Nationwide. The
participants consisted of fourteen delegates, who represented the
country's eighteen indigenous peoples.
Held in Buenos Aires, from October 20 through October 23, 1996.
Two parallel consultations took place.
I. Organizations Responsible: CIDOB (Organizations of the
Lowlands) and SUTCB (Organizations of the Highlands).
They were sponsored by the National Secretariat on Ethnic
Matters, which published the IACHR Draft Survey in newspapers to ensure
the widest possible dissemination.
The results of the consultation were endorsed by the National
Nationwide. Two workshops
were held, one in the city of Santa Cruz for the Oriente, Chaco and
Amazonia region and the other in Oruro for the Andean region.
II. Organization Responsible: the Indigenous Parliament of
Bolivia (the Honorable
Chamber of Deputies).
The consultation was attended by ten indigenous deputies to the National
Parliament of Bolivia.
Organization Responsible: CAPOIB (Joint Council of Indigenous
Peoples and Organizations in Brazil).
Coverage: Nationwide. The
participants included directors of the organizations most directly
involved in COIAB, COR, UNI, AC and CAPOIB, in addition to the legal
counsel of the two last-named. Held in Brasilia in October of 1996.
Organization Responsible: ONIC (National Indigenous Organization
Nationwide. Held in Bogota in October of 1996.
Took place in San Jose, on 11-14 December, 1996, organized by the
"National Indigenous Round Table" -affiliated with CICA. In the process two regional meetings, two national meetings
and some local meetings were completed.
Organization Responsible: The representative of the indigenous
peoples of Chile to the Fund. Coverage:
Two consultations were held, one among the Aymaras peoples and the other
among the Atacameño (in the northern part of Chile).
Organization Responsible: the Secretariat of Ethnic Affairs and a
commission, consisting of an equal number of representatives from the
indigenous and the Afro-Ecuadorian peoples.
Coverage: Nationwide. A
three-day national seminar was held in Quito from October 7 through
October 9, 1996.
A Workshop Seminar was organized by the "Indigenous Round
Table" of El Salvador, with Indian representatives from all the
country, in December 1996.
Held in "Ruinas de Copán" on November 9 and 10, 1996 by the Confederation of Auctochtonous Peoples of Honduras CONPAH, with approximately 100 delegates from the Miskito, Garifuna, Pech, Talupanes O-Xroquaz, Incas, Black anglophones, and Chortis.
Direct consultations and a Workshop Seminar in Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, on
December 7 and 8, 1996, with 19 delegates of 15 national and regional
Organization Responsible: COONAPIP (National Coordination Office
for the Indigenous Peoples of Panama).
Coverage: Nationwide, representing the Ngobe-Bugle, the Kuna of
Mandugandi, the Embera Wounan and the Kuna Takarkunyala.
Organizations responsible: Fifteen indigenous organizations of
Paraguay. Coverage: Nationwide. The
participants were the heads of the 15 organizations.
The meeting took place in the city of Benjamin Aceval, on November
Organizations Responsible: UNCA (Union of Aymara Communities) and
CAH (the Aguaruna Huambisa Council).
Coverage: Nationwide. Six
national agencies were convened (AIDESEP, CONAP, CNA, CCP, COICAP, and the
Andean Council of Coca Leaf Producers) along with regional organizations
from the whole country. The participants were 26 national-level leaders.
The seminar was held in Lima, in November of 1996.
CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
In addition to the presentation at the various technical meetings
cited above, answers were received from centers that represent indigenous
rights, and a meeting was sponsored by the Center for Energy Resources
Tribes (U.S.A.) and the International Organization of Indigenous Resources
Development (IORD) and the Grand Council of the Crees (Canada) was held in
Denver, Colorado, at which a revised text was prepared with the help of
representatives of 140 indigenous peoples of North America.
This version was then approved by acclamation by the Grand Council
of the Crees and the Hobemas, and thereafter presented at the Conference
on Amerindian peoples organized by UNESCO in Paris, in June of 1996.
Consejo Nacional de Centro América (CICA).
Meeting in Guatemala City, on October 18, 1996.
Coordinadora de Pueblos Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (COICA).
Held a special meeting
on October 1-4, 1996 in Quito, with 11 representatives of CONFENIAE
(Ecuador), OPIAC (Colombia), COIAB (Brazil), APA (Guyana), OIS (Suriname)
and COICA (Peru).
The regional meetings for South America in Quito, Ecuador;
and those for Central America and the Caribbean, in Guatemala City were
held in November of 1996. The delegates of the national consultations and other experts and
representatives of governments presented the results of their surveys and
discussed the preparation procedures.
Regional Meeting for Central America and the Caribbean
Site: the Central American Parliament in Guatemala City, November
14-16, 1996. Government
sponsor: the Ministry of
Culture and Sports. Participants:
67 persons, 28 of whom were representatives of indigenous organizations in
Guatemala; 17 were representatives of indigenous organizations in El
Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize and Suriname; 6 represented
the Governments of Belize, Canada, Guatemala and Mexico; and 16 were
representatives and/or experts from Minugua, Flacso, the UNDP, the I.I.I.,
the IIDH and the Central American Parliament.
Delegates from the IACHR, the I.I.I., the UPD, the Indigenous Fund,
and Guatemala's Ministry of Culture and Sports also took part.
Regional Meeting of Consultation for South America
Hotel Quito, in Quito, Ecuador. November
21-23, 1996. Government Sponsor: the
Secretariat of Ethnic Affairs at the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs.
Participants: 165 in number, 77 of whom were indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorean
representatives and 20 were indigenous representatives from Argentina,
Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru; 19 were diplomatic and
technical representatives accredited to the meeting by the Governments of
Argentina, Bolivia (the Undersecretary of Technical Affairs), Brazil,
Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay; and four were executive staff
of regional organizations (COICA, the World Council on Indigenous Peoples
and the IIDH). Officials from
the IACHR, the UPD and the I.I.I. also took part.
In Mexico City in December, the Inter-American Indigenous Institute
held the First Indigenous Forum of the Americas, in the presence of
eighteen indigenous leaders from the region.
The Forum's main objective was to discuss the inter-American
instrument on indigenous rights. The
Forum supported the initiative and recommended that the range of
consultation be broadened.
COMMENTS FROM GOVERNMENTS
Comments were received from the Governments of Argentina, Brazil,
Canada, the United States, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Venezuela. The Government of Bolivia endorsed the observations of the
COMMENTS FROM INSTITUTIONS AND EXPERTS
Responses and comments were also received from the International
Labor Organization (ILO) and from the United Nations Mission in Guatemala
(Minugua). Also from the
Indian Law Resource Center (USA); the Inter-American Dialogue, the Child
Rights International Research Institute, the International Indian Treaty
Council (US), of Hutchins, Soroka, Dionne (Ottawa, Canada).
From experts: Augusto Willemsen Díaz (of Guatemala), Aureliano
Turpo Choquehuanca (World Council on Indigenous Peoples), Professor
Fernand de Varennes (Murdoch University, Australia); Prof. Joe Palacio (UWI,
Belice), and Hugo Mondragón (Colombia).
IACHR TECHNICAL REVIEW MEETING
Taking into account all of the responses and conclusions of the
meetings, in January of 1997, the IACHR held a Technical Meeting to
review the draft text of the questionnaire and to propose a revised
version, for consideration by the IACHR at its 95th Regular Session.
The participants at the meeting included rapporteur members Dr.
Carlos Ayala Corao and Ambassador John Donaldson, and the contract experts
Dr. Magdalena Gómez Rivera (Director of Legal Prosecution at the National
Indigenous Institute of Mexico); Dr. Patrick Robinson (a former member of
the Commission and rapporteur on the topic); and Wilton Littlechild, Q.C.
(indigenous lawyer and member of the Canadian Parliament), with the
collaboration of IACHR principal specialist lawyer, Dr. Osvaldo Kreimer.
THE COMMISSION'S PROPOSAL
The Commission approved the text which is transcribed as the proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to be presented to the General Assembly in response to the recommendation contained in resolution AG/RES. 1022 (XIX-O/89). The IACHR also proposes that the General Assembly, when it considers the Declaration at its June 1997 meeting, conduct the consultations and adopt the measures necessary to approve the declaration at its annual session in 1998, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Organization.
Published by Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 1996 Annual
This resolution was repeated in subsequent years by resolutions
AG/RES. 1044 (XX-O/90); AG/RES. 1169 (XXII-O/92); AG/RES. 1269 (XXII-O/94);
and AG/RES. 1331 (XXV-O/95).
A first round of consultations to seek opinions as regarding the
topics and approach used in the instrument was carried out by the
Commission between 1991 and 1993.
The findings were published in the 1992-1993 IACHR Annual
263-310 (281-330 in the Spanish version).