Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

By Patrick Thornberry | Go to book overview

16

The Proposed American Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Emergence of the Proposal

Following a resolution of the OAS General Assembly - itself prompted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 1 - the IACHR began consultations in 1992-93 `Concerning the Future Inter-American Legal Instrument on Indigenous Rights', 2 having recognised the need for such an instrument from the late 1980s. 3 The consultations eventuated in a `Draft of the Inter-American declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples', approved by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on 18 September 1995, 4 revised to a `Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples', approved by the Commission on 26 February 1997. 5 A draft was presented to the OAS General Assembly at Lima in 1997, 6 which requested the Permanent Council to study it and governments to submit observations. 7 The text was analysed by the Inter-American Juridical Committee which presented its analysis of the proposed text to the Permanent

____________________
1
AG/RES.1022 (XIX-0/89).
2
Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 1992-1993, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.83, Doc. 14, corr.1, 12 March 1993, 263-310. For the initial questionnaire to States, see First Consultation on the Content of a Future Inter-American Legal Instrument on the Rights of Indian Peoples, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.81, Doc. 54, 13 February 1992.
3
O. Kremer, `The beginnings of the Inter-American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples', St Thomas Law Review, 9 (1996), 271-93.
4
OEA/Ser/L/V/II.90, Doc. 9 rev.1, 21 September 1995.
5
Approved by the Commission at its 1,333rd Session, 95th Regular Session.
6
Organisation of American States, News Release, 31 October 1996.
7
AG/RES.1479, 5 June 1997. There is a short critique of developments - primarily on the limited participation of indigenous peoples in the OAS processes - by the Indian Law Resource Centre in their intervention to the 1998 WGIP on agenda item 7 - standard-setting (on file with author). See p. 398 in this volume for developments enhancing such participation.

-397-

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