EMRIP11: Statement of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact and Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus on Agenda item no. 3: Country Engagement

11th Session of Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP11)
9 – 13 July 2018
Agenda item no. 3: Country Engagement
Statement of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact and Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus
Presented by: Beverly Joeman of Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia

On behalf of the Asia Caucus, I would like to reiterate our statement during EMRIP10 re acknowledging the efforts made to amend the mandate of the Expert Mechanism through the Human Rights Council resolution 33/25.  We believe this can more effectively promote respect for the UNDRIP.  We are looking forward to any positive impact this will have with our work on the ground.  We also acknowledge the Expert Mechanism’s efforts in urging the States to engage more activity with them and in reminding the States of their commitment undertaken in the Outcome Document of WCIP to cooperate with indigenous peoples to develop and implement national action plans, as noted in their 2017 Annual Report (A/HRC/36/57, para 13 and 17).

However, due to an overwhelming absence of formal recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights in constitutions and laws in many of the Asian States, as in other regions, we anticipate the challenge for a country engagement despite indigenous peoples being able to invite the Experts.  We particularly call on the Expert Members to undertake constructive dialogues with States on the formal recognition of indigenous peoples and in addressing their urgent issues on the exercise and realization of our rights.  We would like to recommend the Expert Members the possibility to review their past studies, which can be general follow-up, and actively work with academics and UN agencies in highlighting particular benefits for States should they formally recognize indigenous peoples rights.’  We believe the lessons learned and good practices highlighted in previous studies can be actively used to support our demand for legal recognition, which we can also use with our own lobbying on the ground.

We also encourage the States to invite EMRIP for country visits in the spirit of mutual learning on the concerns of indigenous peoples to engage in constructive dialogues at the national level.  Further, we encourage States to further utilise the expertise of the Expert Mechanism in developing policies, laws and national action plans that are responsive to indigenous peoples’ issues.

Thank you.

Click here to download full statement.

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