PBI co-organizing webinar with the past and present UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, November 16

Published by Brent Patterson on

Peace Brigades International is co-organizing a webinar moderated by Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) with speakers including Francisco Cali Tzay (the current Special Rapporteur) and Jakeline Romero Epiayu (from the Force of Wayuu Women in Colombia).

It will take place on Monday November 16 from 10 am to 11:15 am EST.

The webinar is titled: Preventing abuses of Indigenous Peoples’ rights in the business context: a key issue for responsible business and sustainable development.

The description of the webinar notes: “It will reflect on the effects of the pandemic to indigenous peoples, local communities and Afro-descendants including the roll-back of rights in many country contexts, the increased intimidation and attacks on human rights defenders and the disproportionate impact on indigenous women.”

The webinar will be available in English, Spanish and French.

It is part of the UN Virtual Forum on Business and Human Rights taking place from November 16 through to November 18.

To register for the webinar and forum, please click here.

Canada and the UN Declaration

In September 2007, Canada was one of the four countries that voted against the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In May 2016, Canada announced it was “a full supporter, without qualification” of the Declaration and reaffirmed its “commitment to adopt and implement the Declaration in accordance with the Canadian Constitution.”

By February 2018, Canada stated: “The Government will fulfil its commitment to implementing the UN Declaration through the review of laws and policies, as well as other collaborative initiatives and actions. This approach aligns with the UN Declaration itself, which contemplates that it may be implemented by States through various measures.”

It has stopped short of fully recognizing the right to free, prior and informed consent, a key principle in the Declaration and has instead emphasized consultation.

Current land defence and territorial struggles against megaprojects on these lands include: the Wet’suwet’en peoples opposed to the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline, the Secwepemc peoples opposed to the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline; and Treaty 8 nations opposed to the Site C hydroelectric dam.

In December 2019, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination passed this resolution that called on Canada to stop these megaprojects until it had secured the free, prior and informed consent of the Wet’suwet’en, Secwepemc and West Moberly and Prophet River Nations peoples.

Construction on all three megaprojects, even during the pandemic, has continued.

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