Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

By Patrick Thornberry | Go to book overview

3

UN draft Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples

Draft declaration as agreed upon by the members of the
working group at its eleventh session

AFFIRMING that indigenous peoples are equal in dignity and rights to all other peoples, while recognising the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such,

AFFIRMING ALSO that all peoples contribute to the diversity and richness of civilisations and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of humankind,

AFFIRMING FURTHER that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin, racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust,

REAFFIRMING also that indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind,

CONCERNED that indigenous peoples have been deprived of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, resulting, inter alia, in their colonisation and dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, thus preventing them from exercising, in particular, their right to development in accordance with their own needs and interests,

RECOGNISING the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights and characteristics of indigenous peoples, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources, which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies,

WELCOMING the fact that indigenous peoples are organising themselves for political, economic, social and cultural enhancement and in order to bring an end to all forms of discrimination and oppression wherever they occur,

CONVINCED that control by indigenous peoples over developments affecting them and their lands, territories and resources will enable them to maintain and strengthen

-453-

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