The 13th of September marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This was the result of more than 20 years of deliberations in working groups at the United Nations – a slow and often difficult process, characterised by very small steps forward, and frequent stalemates as some states sought to block progress and the recognition of key rights. The Declaration consolidated and codified existing human rights law, jurisprudence and state practice on Indigenous peoples’ rights. It also marked two remarkable innovations; firstly, it was the first UN human rights standard to be drafted with full participation of representatives of the rights-holders themselves – representing an important precedent – and secondly, it provided clear recognition of both individual and collective human rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Over the next five weeks, Amnesty International will be marking the anniversary with a series of social media posts, blogs and articles highlighting the human rights violations faced by Indigenous peoples, and hence the work that still remains to be done to ensure the Declaration is fully implemented. Each week we will focus on a different theme. We will also be raising awareness about the amazing work of Indigenous human rights defenders around the globe. who are putting their lives at risk to defend the rights of their peoples.