The Human Rights at Issue

The human rights of indigenous people and peoples are explicitly set out in the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (No. 169), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and other widely adhered to international human rights treaties and Declarations. They include the following indivisible, interdependent and interrelated human rights:

The human right to freedom from any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on their indigenous status which has the purpose or effect of impairing the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The human right to freedom from discrimination in access to housing, education, social services, health care or employment.

The human right to equal recognition as a person before the law, to equality before the courts, and to equal protection of the law.

The human right of indigenous peoples to exist.

The human right to freedom from genocide and 'ethnic cleansing'.

The human right to livelihood and work which is freely chosen, and to subsistence and access to land to which they have traditionally had access and relied upon for subsistence.

The human right to maintain their distinctive spiritual and material relationship with the lands, to own land individually and in community with others, and to transfer land rights according to their own customs.

The human right to use, manage and safeguard the natural resources pertaining to their lands.

The human right to freedom of association.

The human right to enjoy and develop their own culture and language.

The human right to establish and maintain their own schools and other training and educational institutions, and to teach and receive training in their own languages.

The human right to full and effective participation in shaping decisions and policies concerning their group and community, at the local, national and international levels, including policies relating to economic and social development.

The human right to self-determination and autonomy over all matters internal to the group, including in the fields of culture, religion, and local government.