- By Native News Online Staff
GENEVA, Switzerland — United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Francisco Cali Tzay launched a formal study on Wednesday focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Special Rapporteur is calling for responses by June 15th, 2020 due to the urgency of the situation. The outcomes of this study will be presented to the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, which will begin on September 15, 2020.
The questionnaire covers a wide range of issues and impacts on Indigenous Peoples’ rights to health and medical care, food, livelihoods, cultural practices, mobility, access to vital services and infrastructure, self-determination and participation in decision-making regarding the development and implementation of their own as well as the state's responses to the pandemic.
It also requests information about human rights violations occurring and, in some cases, increasing, during this crisis, including development projects lacking the free prior and informed consent of the Indigenous Peoples impacted and reprisals against Indigenous human and environmental rights defenders. It also calls for the submission of good practices and identification of gaps by states, Indigenous Peoples, and other relevant parties.
Tzay assumed his role as Special Rapporteur on May 1, 2020, with the pandemic already underway.
“Prior to assuming my mandate I had already designated a list of priority issues for the first year of my term. This includes land and resource rights, Indigenous human rights defenders, rights of Indigenous elders, women and children, Indigenous persons with disabilities, cultural rights, and militarization,” Tzay said. “Based on the urgent information I have already received from Indigenous Peoples from all regions, I can confirm that the COVID-19 pandemic, in both its impacts and the responses undertaken by some states, directly impacts all of these rights and concerns, and must be addressed in the most urgent manner by my mandate.”
The questionnaire can be downloaded using the following links:
Support Independent Indigenous Journalism
Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission: We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country. We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.
Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.