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Free, prior and informed consent: report

Issued by

Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


10 August 2018


Issued by HRC subsidiary body


Discrimination and intolerance, Indigenous peoples

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The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples carried out a study on free, prior and informed consent under its mandate in resolution 33/25, which was presented to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-ninth session in September 2018.


Free, prior and informed consent is a manifestation of indigenous peoples’ right to self-determine their political, social, economic and cultural priorities. It constitutes three interrelated and cumulative rights of indigenous peoples:

  • the right to be consulted
  • the right to participate
  • the right to their lands, territories and resources.

Pursuant to the Declaration, free, prior and informed consent cannot be achieved if one of these components is missing.

This report seeks to contribute to an understanding of free, prior and informed consent in the context of developing practices and interpretations of this human rights norm enshrined in the Declaration. Taking into account 11 years of advocacy and jurisprudence following the adoption of the Declaration, the study is not intended to be either exhaustive or definitive, but should contribute to the body of interpretative guidance now available to States, indigenous peoples and others working on issues of concern to indigenous peoples.