Saturday, May 14, 2011

James Anaya's Presentation in 18th Sessions of IGC

In the eighteenth session of IGC on May 9 2011, James Anaya, a UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples did presentation relating to collective rights of indigenous peoples.

In this presentation, he said that international treaties, such as The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing (CBD), recognizes indigenous people’s collective rights. Some regional bodies, such as Inter-American institutions (Commission and Court) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, also recognize indigenous people’s collective rights.

He also mentioned that ‘the concept of collective rights generally: those rights that are enjoyed by particular groups of people in association with each other. Business corporations and research institutions are associations that acquire and control rights that are protected by law, including intellectual property rights’. Meanwhile, he pointed out that ‘the intergenerational and human rights foundations of indigenous collective rights distinguish them from the collective rights of business or other associations’.

Furthermore, he said that ‘there is acknowledgment of the relationship between human rights and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as manifested in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ although traditional view believes that human rights are individual.

Moreover, he mentioned there are issues of definition and representation of beneficiaries of collective rights in practical situation, such as ‘the granting of free, prior and informed consent for access or transferring of the rights, fair and equitable benefit sharing and invoking legal remedies’. He believed that the decisions about TK and TCEs shall 'defer to customary law, both as a practical matter and as a matter of principle', and he also thought that 'there needs to be active stakeholder cooperation toward pragmatic and creative solutions'.