14th session of Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Mr. Binota Moy Dhamai, as the opening speaker, set the scene for the meeting. On one hand, he indicated that the right of self-determination is a foundational right, without which indigenous peoples’ human rights, both collective and individual, cannot be fully enjoyed. The right of self-determination as recognized in article 3 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Draft report on achieving the ends of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, with a focus on self-determination explained how indigenous people exercise, defend, and support the right of self-determination in local, regional, and international contexts. The importance of revitalizing the indigenous language and other cultural practices was emphasized, which was further illustrated by other speakers. Nonetheless, challenges in achieving self-determination lie in the lack of constitutional recognition of the indigenous people. The Expert Mechanism reports called upon states to recognize the land, participation, and consultation of indigenous peoples.

On the other hand, the Draft study and advice on the Rights of the Indigenous Child under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples took a human and children’s rights-based approach to tackle existing gaps in areas such as education and child welfare. The Draft study examined the current legal framework. Speakers further discussed the status of the exercise of the rights of indigenous children worldwide, which includes non-discrimination, the right to be heard, the right to life, the right to education, the right to health, the socio-economic rights, cultural and language rights, access to justice and interactions with child justice systems. They agree in general that states should take the necessary measures to protect indigenous children, particularly girls.

Date/Location: Tuesday, Jul 13, 2021 and the meeting was held virtually.

Speakers: Binota Moy Dhamai, Member Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Ambassador Sally Mansfield, Permanent Mission of Australia, Geneva; Group of Indigenous Children of Bangladesh, Child Participant (Supported by Save the Children); Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF Youth) Priscilla, (youth); New Zealand, Oranga Tamariki (Ministry for Children) Charlotte Beaglehole, General Manager Policy; Dujuan, Aboriginal Youth, Australia (youth) (Video); UNICEF, East Asia and Pacific Region, Lucio Valerio Sarandrea, Child Protection Specialist; Maleya Youth Group; Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Network on Climate Change and Biodiversity (BIPNet) and Maleya Foundation Jami (youth); Hannah McGlade, Member, UN Member Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; New Zealand Human Rights Commission (Item 3) Tricia Keelan, Deputy Chief Executive; Bangladesh Indigenous Youth Forum, Toni Chiran, Organizing Secretary; Ton Kla Indigenous Children and Youth Network, Pinsuda (youth), Vice President; Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus, Cleopatra Tripura; Whareroa marae, and the Ngāti Kuku Māori peoples (of Tauranga, Aotearoa New Zealand), Joel Ngātuere; Bangladesh Jatiya Hajong Sangathan, Mita Hajong; Indonesia, Anindityo Primasto, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia, Geneva; Inter State Adivasi Coordination Committee (ISACC), India, Elina Horo; New Zealand, Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Maori Development), Geoff Short, Deputy Secretary Policy Partnerships; Yingiya Guyula, Member of Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, Australia; Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples/Aotearoa Independent Monitoring Mechanism, Tina Ngata; Nineveh Center for Minority Rights; Indigenous Peoples Organisation (IPO) Australia, Cathy Eatock; Hawai’ Institute for Human Rights, Joshua Cooper; New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC), Anne Dennis Chairperson; National Native Title Council -Australia, Kado Muir, Chair and Ngalia Leader; West Papua Interest Association, Ronald Waromi; Indigenous Peoples Organization (IPO) Australia, Virginia Marshall, Executive Board Member; New Zealand Human Rights Commission (Item 8), Tricia Keelan, Deputy Chief Executive; Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus, Gam A. Shimray; Whareroa marae, and the Ngāti Kuku Māori peoples (of Tauranga, Aotearoa New Zealand), Awhina Ngātuere; Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN), Abdi Akbar; TAKAD (Taskforce Against Kaiduan Dam), Diana Sipail; Megan Davis, Vice Chair, Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Written by: WIT-UN Intern Tracy Cheng

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