GENEVA (17 June 2014) – The new United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, welcomed El Salvador’s move to recognize indigenous peoples and commit to adopt policies to safeguard their ethnic and cultural identities, after ratifying amendments to Article 63 of the Constitution of the Republic.
“This ratification marks a crucial step in recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples in El Salvador and in reversing the historical suppression of indigenous identities and cultures,” Ms. Tauli-Corpuz said.
“Now I urge the Government to move swiftly to develop policies that will promote and protect the rights of indigenous peoples in El Salvador and to create an adequate institutional framework towards this end,” she stressed.
The amendment, ratified on 12 June, implements a central recommendation* of the previous Special Rapporteur on the rights indigenous peoples, James Anaya, following his official visit to the country in 2012.
“I hope that the Government will seize this opportunity to take other measures to fully implement the recommendations made by my predecessor in his report on the situation of indigenous peoples in El Salvador, in coordination with the United Nations system,” Ms. Tauli-Corpuz said.
In particular, the Special Rapporteur noted that “the recent Constitutional amendments could be further buttressed by the ratification of International Labour Organisation Convention No. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, which remains outstanding in El Salvador.”
(*) Check the 2012 report by the previous Special Rapporteur: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/24/41/Add.2
The new Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Philippines), is a human rights activist working on indigenous peoples’ rights. Her work for more than three decades has been focused on movement building among indigenous peoples and also among women, and she has worked as an educator-trainer on human rights, development and indigenous peoples in various contexts. She is a member of the Kankana-ey, Igorot indigenous peoples in the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. As Special Rapporteur, she is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/SRIndigenousPeoples/Pages/SRIPeoplesIndex.aspx
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/Pages/Declaration.aspx
UN Human Rights Country Page – El Salvador: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/LACRegion/Pages/SVIndex.aspx
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