60 Organizations File Request to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Today, the Water Protector Legal Collective and the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program submitted a request to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for a thematic hearing on the suppression of Indigenous human rights. This request is globally supported by over 60 national and international civil society organizations and Indigenous governing institutions.
The hearing would examine the militarized response, criminalization and use of wrongful arrests, abusive conditions of confinement, and excessive force against water and land protectors and would urge U.S., Canadian and Mexican national and local agencies to protect the security of Indigenous human rights defenders and ensure their rights to free expression and assembly in accordance with their obligations under the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man and American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The groups propose that the Commission hear directly from human rights defenders arrested and injured by law enforcement.
The IACHR is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS) whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere. A hearing would bring much needed international attention to the urgent and escalating crises as governments and extractive industry corporations continue to attempt to suppress Indigenous resistance to pipelines, power plants, fracking and mining in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as Indigenous resistance to the U.S.-Mexico border wall – construction of which is tied to fossil fuel interests.
The proposed hearing would take place at the IACHR regional meeting scheduled for May 2 – 10, 2019, in Jamaica. The Commission will decide on the request by early April.