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Media advisories Special Procedures

UN expert on the rights of Indigenous Peoples to visit Colombia

01 March 2024

GENEVA (1 March 2024) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, José Francisco Calí Tzay, will conduct an official visit to Colombia from 5 to 15 March 2024, at the invitation of the Government.

During his visit, Calí Tzay will pay particular attention to the situation of the territorial rights of Indigenous Peoples, the rights of indigenous women and children, as well as the right to participate in public affairs and to be free from reprisals for defending and promoting human rights.

The Special Rapporteur will also analyse the situation of the consultation processes for obtaining free, prior and informed consent from Indigenous Peoples, as well as the progress in the implementation of the peace agreements and the impact of megaprojects, protected areas and green financing on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The expert will meet with State authorities, indigenous and civil society organisations in Bogotá. He will travel to several departments of the country, including indigenous territories, to gather first-hand information from authorities, leaders and other Indigenous Peoples.

Calí Tzay will hold a press conference on 15 March 2024 at the headquarters of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia, Calle 113 #7ª-45 Torre B, at 11 am. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will present his report to the Human Rights Council in September 2024.

Francisco Cali Tzay (Guatemala) is the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. He is a Mayan Kaqchikel from Guatemala, with experience in defending the rights of Indigenous Peoples, both in Guatemala and at the United Nations and the OAS levels. He was a member of the Presidential Commission against Discrimination and Racism against Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala (CODISRA) and was President of the Committee for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination.

Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN human rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organisation. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

See the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

UN Human Rights, Country Page - Colombia

To register for the press conference in Bogotá, please contact Diana Losada (+57 601 6583300 / [email protected])

For additional information and media requests please contact: Francisco Alfonzo (+41 78 221 8074 / [email protected]) and write to [email protected].

For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Maya Derouaz ([email protected]) and Dharisha Indraguptha ([email protected]).

Follow news related to the UN's independent human rights experts on X: @UN_SPExperts