Nov 30, -0001

2009 - 2010 Campaign: Earth Exploitation and Survival


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Indigenous peoples around the world share an integral association with nature both economically and culturally. As such, any exploitation of natural resources present in their lands not only poses a threat to their local environment but is an affront to their culture and livelihoods. We believe that international and national legal frameworks offer inadequate protection to indigenous groups and their lands.

This campaign is designed to increase awareness of the exploitation of natural resources faced by indigenous groups across the world and build links and a sense of solidarity between groups that have been affected. The year 2009 is significant since it marks the 20th anniversary of the International Labour Organisation Convention No.169: Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. The Convention confers a wide catalogue of obligations on governments to coordinate systematic action to protect the rights of indigenous peoples but has been ratified by only 20 nations to date [February 2009].

From 11th February 2009, the UNPO Day of Action, UNPO will publish a weekly article on its website for 12 weeks. It is envisaged that the articles will draw attention to the need for the wider ratification of the Convention and in turn put pressure on policy makers to consider its approval. The articles will offer in-depth analysis of 12 themes related to the effects of unethical, irresponsible and unsustainable development on indigenous peoples.

These articles will be accompanied by a series of 6-8 interviews and photo expositions with indigenous peoples in their homelands who have a real and comprehensive understanding of the struggles faced by their communities on a daily basis.

At a later date we will publish a Ken Saro-Wiwa dossier outlining his life, campaigns, writings and execution. It will provide a legal analysis of the precedent for human rights litigation in the United States under the Alien Tort Claims Act as being set by the outcome of Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. Royal Dutch Petroleum et al are being tried for complicity in human rights violations against the Ogoni allegedly committed by the Nigerian government. The trial will commence on 27 April 2009.

Please sign our petition to support our campaign for the wider ratification of a Convention that should offer greater protection to indigenous people across the world.