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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Rights of Indigenous Peoples - Latin America

Date: 
Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 10:00am
Location: 
Room 2200 of the Rayburn House Office Building

Announcement

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for the first in a series of hearings on the rights of indigenous peoples. The hearing will explore the serious challenges faced by indigenous peoples in Latin America, which threaten their communities, their health and property, as well as traditional knowledge and culture.

According to estimates by the United Nations, there are between 300 million and 370 million indigenous peoples in over 70 countries. They represent an important facet of the world’s cultural fabric, with unique ways of life, distinct identities and different economic and political traditions. Despite the differences among indigenous communities, they continue to face common global threats and injustices as they have throughout their history. These threats range from expropriation and destruction of traditional livelihoods, to forced assimilation and migration, racial discrimination and exclusion from political participation and self-determination.

The Universal Declaration on Human Rights guarantees fundamental rights of all human beings, but many indigenous peoples remain without effective protection. As a result of an almost 22-year process, the international community finally further clarified indigenous rights in the 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples PDF, which lacks the enforceability and monitoring of a U.N. Convention.

If you have any questions, please contact 202-225-3599.

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Frank R. Wolf, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC

Witnesses

Panel I

  • Janet C. Ballantyne, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Kevin Whitaker, Director for Andean Affairs, Bureau of Western Hemisphere, U.S. Department of State
  • Joe Cassidy, Director Multilateral and Global Affairs, Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State

Panel II

  • Dinah L. Shelton, Mannatt/Ahn Professor of International Law, George Washington University
  • Daisy Zapata Fasabi, Vice President, AIDESEP - the Interethnic Development Association for the Peruvian Amazon
  • Estanislao Bejerano Morales, representing the Ngöbe People, Panama
  • Feliciano Santos Santos, representing the Ngöbe People, Panama
  • Dario Mejia, representing ONIC - the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia

Janet C. Ballantyne: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples - Latin America [PDF] 
Kevin Whitaker: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples - Latin America [PDF]  
Joe Cassidy: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples - Latin America [PDF] 
Dinah L. Shelton: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples - Latin America [PDF] 
Daisy Zapata Fasabi: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples - Latin America [PDF] 
Estanislao Bejerano Morales: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples - Latin America [PDF] 
Dario Mejia: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples - Latin America [PDF] 

Transcript

Transcript [PDF] 

Video

111th Congress