Statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, for 9 August, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
… In India, social unrest and conflicts over land acquisition for development and mining projects have increased in recent years. Adivasis defending their ancestral lands and community forests are often subject to threats and harassment, despite the existence of constitutional protections, Supreme Court judgments and progressive national legislation requiring consent of tribal communities, and community rights over forest use. In a positive development in 2010 the Ministry of Environment and Forests in India stopped the Orissa government and Vedanta, a multinational mining company headquartered in the United Kingdom, from mining in the Niyamgiri hilltop in Kalahandi district, since such an operation would severely affect the ecology of the area and the situation of the Dongria Kondh Adivasi people living in the mountains.
Development must not trump indigenous rights in the Americas
Amnesty International has urged governments in the Americas to stop prioritizing development projects at the expense of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. The call came ahead of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on 9 August.
New trade union report
To mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, the ITUC is releasing a new report entitled “The Alliance Between the Indigenous Peoples and Trade Unions in Latin America”. The report points to the discrimination, feudal exploitation, isolation and forced labour suffered by indigenous peoples in Latin America.