On the 13th of January United Nations Indigenous Populations Special Reporter James Anaya published his report regarding his visit to Colombia following the recommendations of his predecessor.
(Translated by Emily Hansen)
Reporter Anaya’s press release follows below.
Additionally, on Thursday January 14
The first global report regarding the indigenous communities of the world, produced by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Affairs, revealed alarming statistic data regarding poverty, health, education, employment, human rights, the environment and more. The report was presented simultaneously in New York, Brussels, Canberra, Milan, Mexico, Moscow, Pretoria, Rio de Janeiro and Bogotá.
UN Special reporter of indigenous towns makes public his report regarding his visit to Colombia following the recommendations of his predecessor.
January 13, 2010
The Special Reporter on the situation of human rights and fundamental liberties of the indigenous made the following declaration:
“It has been registered that the State of Colombia is paying attention to indigenous affairs and the development of plans and proposals oriented to respond to the recommendations of my predecessor. However, I am preoccupied by the multiple indications that the situation of the indigenous communities in that country has not been met with the urgency that the gravity of the situation demands,” said the UN expert in his report today.
“In general the laws, programs and politics of the government do not allow for the effective protection and satisfaction of the human rights of the indigenous communities in Colombia, “ stated the special reporter.
Today the UN Special Reporter made public his report regarding the situation of the human rights and fundamental liberties of the indigenous communities that he visited between July 22nd and 27th, 2009. This report presented the observations of Mr. Anaya following the recommendations made in the 2004 report by the previous Special Reporter, Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen.
The report demonstrates that the situation of the indigenous people of Colombia has become exacerbated and intensified by the internal armed conflict the country is afflicted with. “I have received information regarding an extremely worrying situation of violence and other crimes against indigenous communities as well as forced displacement and confinements, that threaten the fiscal and cultural survival of the indigenous communities of that country,” declared Professor Anaya.
Despite the level of attention on the part of the State of Colombia regarding the indigenous affairs, the report reveals that there still exist great challenges that the government must confront in order to fulfill its obligations of protection and effective promotion of the human rights and fundamental liberties of the indigenous, including the material rights to lands and natural resources and the right to prior consultation with the indigenous communities in decisions that affect them. At the same time, there exist significant breaches in the general enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights of the indigenous communities in comparison with the average population.
In his report, the Special Reporter presents a series of recommendations with the concluding suggestion that Colombia contribute to the cessation of the challenges as well as to the substantial advancement in the recognition and protection of the human rights of the indigenous communities of the country in accordance with the obligations and compromises of the State regarding these changes. We invite you to review the complete report and the recommendations at the following web page: www.hchr.org.co