UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2017, 16th Session
Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Kumar/Sunuwar) asks Joan Carling, longtime advocate for Indigenous rights and former expert member to the UNPFII, how she assesses the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in Asia.
"Remember Your Children," by Salidummay
Music from a seashell, recorded at the opening ceremony of the 16th UNPFII
The right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent is stated in national and international laws, and can be applied in defence of lands and territories when there is a project that will cause irreparable damage.
In order for this right to be applied fairly, it should respect the following: 1. From the start of a project, there should be a consultation with the Indigenous People of the area; 2. There should be sufficient time devoted to ensuring that the community receive all of the information about the projects and its impacts; 3. Information should be distributed in accordance with the traditional ways of each community; 4. Any form of trying to influence the opinions of the people should be avoided; 5. All the details of decisions taken should be recorded.
In order to ensure that the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent is complied with, there should be community meetings which make people aware of what is happening and could happen in their area. In addition to this, projects must be supervised in order to ensure that decisions made in the community meetings, are implemented during the development project.
The right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent clearly states that the government should not force people to change their method of organisation, thinking, or decision making, nor spread inaccurate information to misinform Indigenous Peoples.
It is important to demand that this law is complied with because it protects the environment, guarantees clean water and air, and it is a mechanism of controlling development projects to ensure that truly benefit indigenous communities.