ASIA CAUCUS STATEMENT
The Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus welcomes the completion of the Expert Mechanism of its study on indigenous peoples and the right to participate in decision-making. We appreciate the inclusion of good practices of indigenous peoples in Asia as reflected in the report. The report highlights the importance of indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination, including their right to autonomy or self-governance and the state obligation to consult indigenous peoples in matters that may affect them.
We likewise welcome the effort of the Expert Mechanism to build on this study on indigenous peoples and the right to decision making with focus on extractive industries and to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises on this matter.
In Asia, indigenous peoples continue to suffer the adverse impacts of mining, logging, large scale plantations and infrastructure programs. These projects are generally implemented without the free, prior and consent of affected indigenous peoples and cause massive displacement of indigenous communities and destruction of their livelihood base, and consequently to the loss of their livelihood, culture and identity. A plethora of cases have been documented and published by the Asia indigenous Peoples Pact which we would like to share with the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to aid in the study.
Further, we support the recommendation of the Human Rights Council for all interested parties, most especially states, businesses and corporations, to make the study as a practical guide in achieving the goals of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.