On September 13, 2007 the General Assembly of the UN rectified a landmark decision concerning the indigenous people and adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This decision was made after 20 years of strenuous work by the different committees of the UN on human rights and indigenous peoples. The declaration acknowledges the historic wrongs done to those communities, colonialism as well as land and resource theft, and recognized their right to self-determination and strengthening their own culture, beliefs and institutes. Among else, the declaration prohibits the states to evict them from their land without conscious and informed consent in advance.
Please click here for further information on the declaration, its background and related material.
The UN has two bodies working for the rights of Indigenous People- the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that coordinates and consults on all relevant events, and the Expert Mechanisms on the Rights of Indigenous People that meets annually in Geneva and consults the Human Rights Council.
Relevant Reports by the Special Rapporteur:
- In August 2011, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, rejected the State’s position that it did not accept the classification of its Bedouin citizens as an indigenous people. Prof. Anaya stated that, “The Bedouin people share in the characteristics of indigenous peoples worldwide, including a connection to lands and the maintenance of cultural traditions that are distinct from those of majority populations.” Thus, the Bedouin fall within the ambit of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate. The full report can be found here.
Participation in Committees and Forums:
- Ferial Abu Nadi attended the 23rd session of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations to present the report ‘Bedouins and the Rights of Indigenous People’ prepared by Ilana Boteach (in 2005 in Geneva);
- Ariel Dalumi and Ferial Abu Nadi attended the 24th session of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations (in 2006 in Geneva);
- Ariel Dalumi and Ferial Abu Nadi attend the 69th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (in 2006 in Geneva);
- Ferial Abu Nadi attended the 5th and 7th sessions of the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues (in 2006 and 2008 respectively);
- Advocate Rawia Aburabia attended the 8th and 9th sessions of the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues (in 2009 and 2010 respectively in New York). During the 9th session, Rawia meet privately with Special Rapporteur, Professor James Anaya, to update him on the situation in the Negev and delivered this statement before the assembly;
- Board member, Khalil Alamor, attended the 3rd session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (in 2010 in Geneva) and delivered this statement;
- Board member, Khalil Alamour, attended the 99th session of the UN Human Rights Committee’s review of Israel under the ICCPR to present the shadow report prepared by the NCF (in 2010 in Geneva). Mr Alamour delivered this statement;
- Advocate Sana Ibn Bari attend the 10th session of the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues in 2011 in New York and delivered this statement; and
- Board member, Khalil Alamour, attended the 47th session of the Committee of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva in 2011. During the session, Mr Alamour delivered this statement.
- Attorney Orna Kohn read out this statement on behalf of NCF during the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s (CERD) review of Israel in February 2012 in Geneva.
- Mansour Nsasra read out this statement on behalf of NCF at the 11th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues in New York in May 2012.