Indigenous Peoples' Rights

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Minority Rights Group International welcomes the adoption by the World Heritage Committee of a decision requiring the government of Kenya to ‘ensure full and effective participation of the Enderois in the management of Lake Bogoria through their own representative institutions'

Diaguita communities and individuals living in the Huasco river's high basin, in the Atacama region of Chile, filed an action to protect constitutional rights against Compañía Minera Nevada SpA (a subsidiary of Canada-based Barrick Gold) and the Comisión de Evaluación Ambiental (Chile's government agency dealing with environmental issues).

Thanks to the advocacy actions of TierraViva, Dejusticia and others, on May 21 the Paraguayan House of Representatives approved a law for the restitution of the Sawhoyamaxa lands.

The Saramaka people, descendants of self-liberated African slaves, have been living on their traditional territory in Suriname since the early 1700s. This non-indigenous community lives in a traditional way by fishing, hunting and woodworking, and their relationship with the land is more than economic, but also spiritual and cultural. In 1986, Suriname adopted a new Constitution specifying that all non-titled lands and natural resources belonged to the State.

On behalf of Ogiek Peoples' Development Programme (OPDP), Minority Rights Group International (MRG) and the Centre for Minority Rights (CEMIRIDE) inform that the hearing against the Government of Kenya at the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights related to the Ogiek community has been scheduled. The case, originally scheduled to be heard on 13 and 14 March, 2014 in Arusha, Tanzania, will now be heard in June 2014.

The State of Queensland and the Commonwealth alleged that successive legislative regimes since 1877 (for Queensland) and the 1950s (for the Commonwealth) had extinguished Torres Strait communities’ rights to fish for commercial purposes, by regulating “control, management and exploitation of the living resources” within  “native title areas”.

On the appeal, the High Court held that such statutes were consistent with the continuing recognition of native title rights to fish for commercial purposes.

Terra de Direitos has launched a campaign in support of the community of Telha Paiol in the lead-up to the imminent resolution of the Federal Regional Court regarding the constitutionality of Federal Decree 4887/03 that granted land titling to the Paiol quilombola people of Telha Fundao, located in Iguacu Reserve, central Parana region, Brazil.

On 12 December, 2013, ESCR-Net sent a letter to the Government of Ecuador to express concern about the recent closure of offices of Fundación Pachamama, which works to promote and defend the rights of indigenous people in the Amazon region. 

On 9 December, 2013, ESCR-Net sent a letter to the Government of Paraguay to express the Network's collective support for the prompt implementation of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ legally-binding decision on the case the Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous Community v. Paraguay (March 29, 2006), requiring the restitution of the Sawhoyamaxa’s original lands.          

In 2010, the State of Mexico promoted the construction and operation of a project called “Independencia Aqueduct”, which includes plans to carry around 60 million cubic meters of water from the “El Novillo” dam (located in the Yaqui river) to the Sonora river basin to supply water to the city of Hermosillo, Sonora.  The project includes building a water catchment system at “El Novillo”, a repumping station, a steel aqueduct to supply the national water network, and a power transmission line.  The purpose of the works is to carry the water from the Yaqui river to the city of Hermosillo, in v