United Nations Human Rights Council Report on the Situation of Indigenous Peoples in the United States

In September 2012, the United Nation’s Human Rights Council (UN HRC) released its most recent report on the rights of indigenous people, which assessed the laws, government programs and constructive agreements between indigenous peoples and states that typify and/or highlight the situation of indigenous peoples worldwide.

Appointed by the UN HRC, Special Rapporteur James Anaya traveled to Namibia in 2012 to assess the consequences of historical colonization and the invasion of native territories, and create a report. Mr. Anaya’s position of Special Rapporteur is a post that was created by the Commission on Human Rights in 2001 in order to assess international and regional human rights mechanisms that affect indigenous peoples, as well as protect the rights of indigenous peoples.

Mr. Anaya’s September 2012 report, a case-study of Namibian indigenous people, found that, “like many other countries around the world that have experienced European colonization and waves of migration, indigenous groups that are in the minority…have suffered injustices in the past that leave them disadvantaged, to varying degrees, in the present…”

Among other items, Mr. Anaya reported his concern that minority indigenous communities that do not have recognized traditional authorities will lose their ability to make decisions on their behalf.

Read the full report.