Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

24 March 2007

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) welcomes the report from the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples on his mission to Ecuador and fully support the recommendations.

In its conclusions, the report has addressed the use of data to indicate that more indigenous peoples live in poverty and extreme poverty; however, in fact, there are few measure systems and accountable data to estimate the access of indigenous communities to efficient responses or complaint systems, land property rights with free enjoyment and management of natural resources, reliable health security and sex disaggregated data. WILPF calls on the Special Rapporteur in his mission to Ecuador and state parties to identify and target these types of measures that respond to the challenges that indigenous groups are currently facing in a globalised world representing a progressive step forward to promote harmonious relations and mutual respect between indigenous peoples and states.

In the final section of recommendations the report calls on the Colombian Government to provide compensation for the damage caused to the environment and health of indigenous communities situated at the northern border of Ecuador, however we would like to ask the Special Rapporteur to expand his call to governments such as in the case of the US, that have financially supported the aerial spraying of illicit crops in the plan Colombia.

WILPF expresses its disappointment on the situation of indigenous women, not only in Ecuador, but across the globe. The vulnerable position of indigenous women has escalated into disastrous human rights violations. WILPF calls on the Special Rapporteur as well as member states to adopt a strong commitment to protect the rights of women and children, allocating support and resources to professional gender training and sensitization, to be incorporated into security sector reform. International accompaniment is also needed to protect the lives of indigenous human rights defenders and within their communities during pacific demonstrations and democratic participation to prevent situations that have occurred in Ecuador and Colombia.

And finally, last but by no means least, WILPF calls on member states to support the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the General Assembly in New York in September 2007.
Thank you Mr. President and representatives.

WILPF UK Section