UNSR Victoria Tauli-Corpuz

Statements & Press Releases
UN experts condemn string of Ecuador clampdowns on human rights organizations Print

acnudhGENEVA (30 December 2016) – A group of United Nations human rights experts* have criticized the Government of Ecuador for stifling civil society, after issuing an order for the closure of an NGO which supports environmental and indigenous rights.

On 18 December, 'Acción Ecológica' called for a Peace and Truth Commission to explore the attacks on indigenous and environmental rights. Two days later, the Ministry of the Environment initiated the dissolution process, giving the group 24 hours to respond and ten days to present defence evidence.

The move against 'Acción Ecológica' comes amidst a conflict involving indigenous Shuar people who are trying to halt mining on what they claim to be their territory. The campaign group, which has vocally supported the indigenous protesters, is the latest in a series of organizations to be targeted by the government.

The group of independent human rights experts urged the Ecuadorian authorities to reverse the decision and reform the legislation it is using to dissolve the groups. The UN experts have already censure the government for dissolving groups such as 'Pachamama' and the 'Unión Nacional de Educadores', and also attempting to close the NGO 'Fundamedios' over the past three years. "The Government of Ecuador seems to be systematically dissolving organizations when they become too vocal or challenge government orthodoxy," they said. "This strategy to asphyxiate civil society has been implemented via two decrees - 16 and 739 - which give the authorities powers to unilaterally dissolve any kind of organization."

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Consultation and consent: Principles, experiences and challenges Print

vicky-taulicorpuz-mexico2016

Presentation by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, for the International Colloquium on the free, prior, informed consultation: International and regional standards and experiences. Mexico City, 8 November 2016.

"In the course of my mandate, the issue of consultation and free, prior and informed consent has arisen in the context of specific cases brought to my attention through the communications procedure, in country visits, and meetings with indigenous and government representatives. The concern consistently expressed is the lack of effective implementation of consultation in the context of legislative measures or plans for natural resource development and investment projects."

"In this presentation, I will begin by addressing the legal foundations of the principles of consultation and consent and its intended purposes and objectives within the broader framework of international law on indigenous peoples' rights. I will then address the challenges faced in the implementation of consultation and consent standards, including in the process of developing legislation, institutional development and cross-cutting coordination. This would include some comparative experiences in other countries. Lastly, I will present some recommendations for the road ahead."

Read full presentation here (PDF format)

 
Statement of Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to the UN General Assembly Print

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz UNGA2016

Statement of
Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

General Assembly Seventy-First Session
Item 65: Rights of indigenous peoples

New York, 17 October 2016

Madame Chair,
Distinguished delegates, indigenous peoples' representatives
Ladies and gentlemen,

I have the honor to present today my third annual report to the General Assembly. I would like to start by expressing my gratitude to the numerous States, indigenous peoples, and others, and in particular to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, for the support they have provided as I have carried out my mandate.

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Ethiopia: UN experts call for international commission to help investigate systematic violence against protesters Print

acnudhGENEVA (10 October 2016) –United Nations human rights experts today urged the Ethiopian authorities to end their violent crackdown on peaceful protests, which has reportedly led to the death of over 600 people since November 2015. They further called on the Government to allow an international commission of inquiry to investigate the protests and the violence used against peaceful demonstrators.

"We are outraged at the alarming allegations of mass killings, thousands of injuries, tens of thousands of arrests and hundreds of enforced disappearances," said the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances and on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard. "We are also extremely concerned by numerous reports that those arrested had faced torture and ill-treatment in military detention centres."

"In light of the lack of progress in investigating the systematic violence against protesters, we urge the Ethiopian Government to allow an international independent commission to assist in shedding light on these allegations," they stated.

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North Dakota: “Indigenous peoples must be consulted prior to oil pipeline construction” – UN expert Print

acnudhGENEVA (23 September 2016) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, today called on the United States to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline as it poses a significant risk to the drinking water of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and threatens to destroy their burial grounds and sacred sites.

Ms. Tauli-Corpuz's call comes after a temporary halt to construction and the recognition of the need to hold 'government-to-government consultations' made by the US Departments of the Army, Justice and of the Interior. The 1,172 mile (1,890 km) pipeline is being built by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Energy Transfer LLC Corporation.

"The tribe was denied access to information and excluded from consultations at the planning stage of the project and environmental assessments failed to disclose the presence and proximity of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation," the expert stressed.

"The United States should, in accordance with its commitment to implement the Declaration on the rights on indigenous peoples*, consult with the affected communities in good faith and ensure their free, and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands, particularly in connection with extractive resource industries," Ms. Tauli-Corpuz said.

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