UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Fact Sheet 2: Key features1
- The Declaration affirms that indigenous peoples make a unique contribution to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures, which constitutes the common heritage of humankind. The Declaration promotes and enhances the plurality of societies.
- The Declaration is of utmost importance to combat discrimination against indigenous peoples created by more than five centuries of racism, marginalization and exclusion. The Declaration explicitly encourages harmonious and cooperative relations between States and indigenous peoples. Every provision of the Declaration will be interpreted consistent with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, non-discrimination and good faith.
- The Declaration is a reaffirmation of the commitment of the international community to respect cultural diversity and the right to be different.
- The Declaration is based upon principles of partnership, consultation and cooperation between indigenous peoples and States. This is fully consistent with the theme of Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People’s “Partnership for Action and Dignity” adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2005.
- The Declaration is an aspirational human rights instrument of great value for all. It establishes a valuable framework for resolving issues and achieving the common objectives of the international community and the UN Charter.
- The Declaration does not create new rights. It elaborates upon existing international human rights norms and principles as they apply to indigenous peoples.
- The Declaration promotes equality and non-discrimination for all. The Declaration is essential for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples of the world.
- The Declaration strengthens the international human rights system as a whole.
- The Declaration recognizes the application of the right of self-determination to indigenous peoples, exercised in conformity with international law and consistently with the Charter of the United Nations. This includes through the non-discriminatory application of the principle of territorial integrity and respect for the sovereign unity of States.
- The Declaration is among the first international human rights instruments to explicitly provide for the adoption of measures to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy protection and guarantees against all forms of violence.