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First visit to Namibia by a UN expert on the rights of indigenous peoples

GENEVA (19 September 2012) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, will visit Namibia from 20 to 28 September 2012, to examine the situation of indigenous peoples in that country. This will be the first mission to Namibia by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to report on the rights of the indigenous peoples.

“Indigenous peoples across the world experience the consequences of historical colonization and invasion of their territories, and face discrimination because of their distinct cultures, identities and ways of life,” the human rights expert noted.

“I will examine the situation of indigenous peoples in Namibia in, among others, the areas of lands and resources, development, and social and economic rights, in light of relevant international standards including those in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 2007 with an affirmative vote by Namibia,” he said

The Special Rapporteur will carry out meetings with representatives of the Government of Namibia and with indigenous peoples and non-governmental organizations, in the capital city Windhoek, as well as in the regions of Tsumkwe, West Caprivi, Okuakuejo, and Opuko.

At the end of his mission, on Friday 28 September 2012, Mr. Anaya will hold a press conference in Windhoek at 11am, in the United Nations Information Centre.

The UN Human Rights Council appointed S. James Anaya (United States) as Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples in March 2008. Mr. Anaya is a Regents Professor and the James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/indigenous/rapporteur/

See the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/512/07/PDF/N0651207.pdf?OpenElement

UN Human Rights Country Page – Namibia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/NAIndex.aspx

For more information and media inquiries, please contact Anthea Basson (+264 61 2046111 / anthea.basson@unic.org) or write to indigenous@ohchr.org.

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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