EMRIP11: Statement of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact and Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus on Agenda Item 7: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: good practices and lessons learned

11th Session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
9 – 13 July 2018
Agenda Item 7: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: good practices and lessons learned
Statement of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact and Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus
Presented by: Maithin Yu Mon of Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO)

On behalf of the Asia Caucus, I would like to mention that we have highlighted the laws and legal frameworks of some countries in Asia in last year’s statement[1] pertaining to agenda on UNDRIP’s 10-year anniversary to note the progress of implementation of UNDRIP in Asia.  They were not noted in EMRIP’s draft report regarding this matter. (A/HRC/EMRIP/2017/CRP.2) And we do understand that implementation of these laws in countries where they exist have been a challenge to actually make it to EMRIP’s report that highlights good practices.  But despite this challenge of non-implementation, we do recognise them as progress, especially because it has been particularly challenging for Asian States to formally recognise indigenous peoples rights as per the UNDRIP.

The progress of implementation in Asia of UNDRIP in 2017 is nothing different to this year.  If anything, it has been worse, particularly because of the alarming concern of shrinking democratic space in many Asian States with the rise of autocratic leaders.  In this kind of political environment, UNDRIP implementation, as with other international human rights instruments, will be particularly challenging.  We continue to face challenge in the implementation of the UNDRIP.   Despite of our attempts to engage constructively with States, we are treated as trouble makers, obstructionist or terrorists, as in the case of the Philippines.  Continuing conflicts with indigenous peoples in relation to the exploitation and destruction of our land and resources are not caused by us but by the fact that our rights are being violated with impunity. There is an urgent need for States to change their approach and engagement with indigenous peoples in order for us to advance in the implementation of the UNDRIP.  There should be political will, openness and respect to implement the UNDRIP, which will not only benefit indigenous peoples but the whole society. Unless the oppressive and discriminatory approach of States is not transformed, the realization of our rights will not come into fruition.  We thereby appeal to States in Asia to engage in meaningful ways with indigenous peoples in the spirit of mutual learning on the concerns of indigenous peoples and engage in constructive dialogues at the national level on the implementation of UNDRIP.

Similarly, we recommend the Expert Mechanism to

  • Urge States to ensure a political environment that is conducive to for constructive dialogue with indigenous peoples and for the full implementation of UNDRIP. In line with this, we reiterate our earlier recommendation regarding providing an analysis of good practices and lessons learned with clear consideration of the factors and conditions, which make these practices work in these specific contexts, and to remind our appreciation to the Expert Member re their acknowledgement of the previous recommendation regarding comparable trends and regional and sub-regional analysis, which, at least, for the analysis per region.
  • Further reiterate the Expert Mechanism proposal in 2013 to explicitly include UNDRIP in the list of standards on which the Universal Periodic Review of States is based, as echoed in the 2017 annual report of the Expert Mechanism


[1] See AIPP Statement on Agenda Item no. 6: 10-year of Implementation of UNDRIP: good practices and lessons learned in this link: http://bit.ly/2uUt7JB

Click here to download full statement.

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