UN rights chief Navi Pillay urges States to do more to respect treaties with indigenous peoples
GENEVA (07 August 2013) –States need to do more to honour and strengthen their treaties with indigenous peoples, no matter how long ago they were signed, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has said in a statement to mark International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August.Continued here http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13610&LangID=E
“Even when signed or otherwise agreed more than a century ago, many treaties remain the cornerstone for the protection of the identity, land and customs of indigenous peoples, determining the relationship they have with the State. They are thus of major significance to human rights today,” she said.
Treaties often marked a decisive step in ending a period of conflict, exploitation and expropriation, the High Commissioner noted.
“The honouring of treaties has in many cases been described as a sacred undertaking requiring good faith by each party for their proper enforcement. Yet too often indigenous communities are obliged to go to the courts to force States to live up to their promises,” she added.