UNSR Victoria Tauli-Corpuz



Rest in peace, my mentor and friend, Rodolfo. Print

Rodolfo Stavenhagen

 

I just arrived in Mexico City where I will be speaking before the Congress of Mexico and in a colloquium organised by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. I arrived a day earlier because I was going to pay Rodolfo Stavenhagen a visit, tomorrow. I knew he was ill, which is why I requested that I visit him. Unfortunately, when I landed in the Benito Juarez Airport, I was informed that he passed away today. This is so sad. My deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife Elia, his children and whole family.

Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen is the first Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples. This was the name of the mandate when it was established, which later was changed to what it is now. Rodolfo, is a person who has influenced me a lot in my life and work as a human rights and indigenous peoples' rights activist. I read one of his first books on indigenous peoples and minorities and since then I sought his writings.

He is one of the finest and dignified man I ever met. HIs commitment in fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples was unwavering. His writings on indigenous peoples rights are among the best ones I have read. During the drafting and negotiations of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, I had several chances to be with him. He was with us when the Declaration was adopted in 13 September 2007 at the UN General Assembly in New York.

When he became the Rapporteur he and I discussed about how we can get him to the Philippines. This worked out and so the Philippines was the second country he visited after his appointment in 2001. When he visited, I was very impressed with him. He was so patient and uncomplaining even during the long and arduous round trip travel we did from Baguio to Mankayan and back. His report on the Philippines set the benchmark on the situation of indigenous peoples in my country.

Rest in peace, my mentor and friend, Rodolfo. You have done so much for indigenous peoples and I thank you very much for all these. As the first Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, you set a high standard for the mandate. I hope I will be able to meet even one half of the standard you set. You will be in my memories and prayers and all I learned from you will guide me in my life and work.

 

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Mexico City, November 5, 2016.

 

 
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples on her mission to Brazil Print

acnudhThe Secretariat has the honour to transmit to the Human Rights Council the report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, on her mission to Brazil from 7 to 17 March 2016. The main objective of the visit was to identify and assess the main issues currently facing indigenous peoples in the country and to follow up on key recommendations made in 2009 by the previous mandate holder.

Brazil has a number of exemplary constitutional provisions pertaining to the rights of indigenous peoples and was, in the past, a leader in the area of demarcation of indigenous peoples' territories. However, in the eight years since the visit of the previous mandate holder, there has been a disturbing absence of progress in the implementation of his recommendations and the resolution of long-standing issues of key concern to indigenous peoples. The Special Rapporteur noted a worrying regression in the protection of indigenous peoples' rights. In the current political context, the threats facing ndigenous peoples may be exacerbated and the long-standing protections of their human rights may be at risk.

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Report on the human rights situation of the Sami people in the Sápmi region of Norway, Sweden and Finland Print

acnudhReport of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples on the human rights situation of the Sami people in the Sápmi region of Norway, Sweden and Finland. The present report examines the situation on the basis of research and investigation carried out, including during a conference organized by the Sami Parliamentary Council in Bierke/Hemavan, Sweden, from 25 to 27 August 2015.

During her visit, the Special Rapporteur heard repeated and insistent concerns over the increase in natural resource investments in the Sápmi region and the States' balancing of interests in that context. The balance, which is rarely free of conflict, is a primary focus of the present report. The Special Rapporteur concludes that there are still challenges that the Governments must meet, in particular with respect to adequately defining and recognizing the Sami people's rights over their land and related resources, and that further efforts are needed to advance and strengthen Sami rights, particularly in the face of increased natural resource investments in the Sápmi region.

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Impacts of international investment agreements on the rights of indigenous peoples. Report to Human Rights Council - 2016 Print

vicky tauli-corpuzThe present report is submitted to the Human Rights Council by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples pursuant to Council resolutions 15/14 and 24/9. In the report, she provides a brief summary of her activities since her previous report (A/HRC/30/41) and offers a thematic analysis of the impact of international investment agreements on the rights of indigenous peoples.

The present report is the second of three that the Rapporteur dedicates to this issue. She has previously introduced the topic and touched on some of the impacts of international investment agreements on indigenous peoples' rights and the more systemic issues associated with the international investment law regime. In the present report,she seeks to further contextualize and examine those impacts by focusing on cases involving such agreements and rights. In her final report,she will reflect on the standards of protections that those agreements afford and contextualize them in the light of developments in international human rights law and the sustainable development agenda as they pertain to indigenous peoples.

In doing so, the Special Rapporteur seeks to promote coherence in international investment law and international human rights law and ensure that State fulfilment of duties pertaining to indigenous peoples' rights is not obstructed by protections afforded to investors.

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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples on her visit to Honduras Print

acnudhReport of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples on her visit to Honduras. The report is based on information received by the Special Rapporteur during her visit to the country from 2 to 10 November 2015 and on independent research.

The situation of the indigenous peoples of Honduras is critical, since their rights over their lands, territories and natural resources are not protected, they face acts of violence when claiming their rights, in a general context of violence and impunity, and they lack access to justice. In addition, they suffer from inequality, poverty and a lack of basic social services, such as education and health.

They call for immediate and decisive protection measures, including the prevention, investigation and punishment of persons responsible for murdering, threatening and harassing members of indigenous peoples and also of those responsible for actions that infringe their rights over their lands, natural resources and other human rights. The legal, political and institutional framework must be overhauled and strengthened in order to deal with the situation properly and effectively, with reforms including coordination between government agencies to ensure the cross-cutting implementation of the Government's international commitments on the rights of indigenous peoples. All this requires more public resources and greater political will. Serious and committed participation by the international community and the international human rights bodies is essential in order to ensure international oversight of such efforts and to provide the necessary technical and financial assistance.

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