Indigenous peoples seek redress

Indigenous peoples seek redress

The Indigenous Peoples Regional Competent Authority (IPRCA) and the Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Council (IPHRC), have been requested to act on behalf of the Indigenous People of Saint Lucia Governing Council (BGC) and the Partners For First Peoples Development (PFFPD) of Trinidad & Tobago to initiate dialogue with representatives of the following Member States and Permanent Observer of the United Nations: Spain, France, United Kingdom, Trinidad & Tobago, Saint Lucia and the Holy See, regarding the provision of effective remedies, recourse and redress for historical injustices committed against the Indigenous Peoples of Saint Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago.

During the past three years, representatives of the Indigenous Peoples of Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago met on several occasions to establish a Platform for dialogue with the said States and the Holy See.

Initial contact has already be made with two of the United Nations Member States, and an intervention was made on the issue at the Eight Session of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva in July 2015.

The IPRCA and the IPHRC contend that the issue of effective remedies, recourse and redress for historical injustices committed against the said Indigenous Peoples can be addressed through the application of the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of 2007(1); the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance Declaration and Programme of Action of 2001(2); and the Outcome Document of the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples of 2014(3); supported by recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Council and United Nations Treaty Bodies, among others.

In anticipation of the dialogue between the representatives of the Indigenous Peoples concerned on the one hand and the States and Holy See on the other hand, the Secretariat of the IPRCA and the IPHRC will continue working with the Indigenous Peoples of Saint Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago to disaggregate data, and as well as to conduct surveys to determine how to address the situation and needs of the Indigenous Peoples concerned.

A Negotiating Team comprising of five Indigenous Peoples’ Experts, two each from Saint Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago and a representative of the Secretariat of the IPRCA and the IPHRC has been appointed to present the concerns of the Indigenous Peoples concerned. It is expected that the Negotiating Team will also engage institutions, organizations, corporations and individuals concerned, and as well as the relatives of the Indigenous Peoples of Saint Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago in the Diaspora.

The IPRCA and the IPHRC will also act on behalf of the other Indigenous Peoples of the CARICOM region, when requested.

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