A history of Canada’s contempt of UN-recommendations regarding Indigenous rights

Canada facing UN-Universal Periodic Review May 11, 2018
 

On Friday, May 11, Canada will have to appear before the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and report on the measures taken to promote and protect human rights in its country. This mechanism of Canada’s third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a peer-review process before the UN Human Rights Council‘s 47 members. Fact is, that Canada has continuously disregarded UN-recommendations to improve the Human Rights situation of Indigenous Peoples.

On a global level, Canada promotes itself as a major human rights leader. However, the outcome of numerous UN human rights procedures paints a completely different picture. And despite the fact that Canada consulted with over 280 civil society organizations and Indigenous groups for the report’s draft outline, it is not known to a wider audience that Canada has been criticized by every single human rights treaty body or human rights procedure – in particular regarding the treatment of Indigenous Peoples and the violation of their aboriginal rights.

Since 1998 the European Alliance for the Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples (Alliance) has been documenting the objections expressed by the various human rights bodies and procedures within the UN. History clearly shows that Canada has in almost all cases not properly acted on the recommendations; many of the objections and recommendations have even been rejected outright.

The members of the Alliance are European human rights NGOs committed to the rights of Indigenous Peoples; they have all worked with Indigenous Peoples in Canada since decades and have monitored the Canadian governments‘ policies concerning Indigenous Rights within Canada itself but also regarding the relevant United Nations treaty bodies and procedures.

The Alliance is highly concerned that Canada will not take Indigenous Peoples seriously and continue to violate their rights – despite Prime Minister Trudeau declared the reconciliation with indigenous Peoples as highest priority.

Please find a short version of the documentation of Canada’s contempt of UN-recommendations on the website of AKIN www.arbeitskreis-indianer.at/uno-objections-canada_2018_short-version.pdf. It focuses on statements and recommendations directly regarding the rights and situation of indigenous/aboriginal peoples. Thus, general comments on violations of other human rights which still significantly impact them (e.g. rights of children or women, racism and discrimination, or elimination of torture and ill-treatment) are not listed.

We thank you for considering this information. Please contact the Alliance for further information or questions: Dr. Peter Schwarzbauer – schwarzbauer@arbeitskreis-indianer.at; +43 680 1155444

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* Aktionsgruppe Indianer & Menschenrechte e.V., Munich, Germany; www.aktionsgruppe.de
* Arbeitskreis Indianer Nordamerikas (AKIN), Vienna, Austria; www.arbeitskreis-indianer.at
* Comité de Solidarité avec les Indiens des Amériques (CSIA-NITASSINAN), Paris, France;
www.csia-nitassinan.org
* Internationales Komitee für die Indigenen Amerikas, Zurich, Switzerland; www.incomindios.ch
* MENSCHENRECHTE 3000 e.V. (HUMAN RIGHTS 3000), Freiburg, Germany; www.menschenrechte3000.de
* Verein zur Unterstützung nordamerikanischer Indianer (ASNAI), Berlin, Germany; www.asnai.de