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Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - September 13

September 13 2023 will mark the 16th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Declaration covers all areas of human rights as they relate to Indigenous peoples. It addresses both individual and collective rights, cultural rights and identity, rights to education, health, employment, language, and others. The Declaration explicitly encourages harmonious and cooperative relations between States and Indigenous Peoples. It prohibits discrimination against Indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the General Assembly on Thursday, 13 September 2007, marking this as an historic achievement for more than 370 million Indigenous persons Worldwide!

The Declaration was adopted by an overwhelming majority of the General Assembly, with 143 countries voting in support, 4 voting against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States) and 11 abstaining (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burundi, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Samoa, Ukraine).

Since adoption of the Declaration, Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada have all reversed their positions and expressed support for the Declaration. Colombia and Samoa have also since endorsed the Declaration.

Today the Declaration is the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. It establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous Peoples of the world and it elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms as they apply to the specific situation of Indigenous Peoples.

The Declaration was drafted in partnership with the world’s Indigenous peoples, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia.

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