“Let us ensure that development for some is not to the detriment of the human rights of others”: statement on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 2011 – United Nations

Statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay for 9 August, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People:

“As we celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People this year, many of the estimated 370 million indigenous peoples around the world have lost, or are under imminent threat of losing, their ancestral lands, territories and natural resources because of unfair and unjust exploitation for the sake of ‘development.’ On this day, let us ask the crucial question: who actually benefits from this so-called development, and at what cost is such development taking place?

When indigenous communities are alienated from their lands because of development and natural resource extraction projects, they are often left to scrape an existence on the margins of society. This is certainly not a sign of development. […]

In India, social unrest and conflicts over land acquisition for development and mining projects have increased in recent years. Adivasis defending their ancestral lands and community forests are often subject to threats and harassment, despite the existence of constitutional protections, Supreme Court judgments and progressive national legislation requiring consent of tribal communities, and community rights over forest use. In a positive development in 2010 the Ministry of Environment and Forests in India stopped the Orissa government and Vedanta, a multinational mining company headquartered in the United Kingdom, from mining in the Niyamgiri hilltop in Kalahandi district, since such an operation would severely affect the ecology of the area and the situation of the Dongria Kondh Adivasi people living in the mountains. […]

Read the entire statement here:
Date Visited: Mon Nov 19 2012 20:06:52 GMT+0100 (CET)

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