The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era
The issue of human rights is of central concern for indigenous peoples. Ever since the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948 applying those universal rights to indigenous peoples has been a struggle. The full text of the U.N. Declaration can be found here.
The lack of human rights recognition towards indigenous peoples is reflected in many of their current struggles, such as the situation concerning indigenous people and climate change. However, much progress in giving voice to indigenous peoples human rights claims has occurred. The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues recently got the General Assembly of the U.N. to adopt the UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES.
The most concise history on the development of human rights, and the progress of human rights justice for indigenous peoples, is found in the recently updated book The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era. Here is an excerpt from our recent review of the book:
Human rights are rights considered to be held by individuals simply because they are part of the human species. They are rights, in essence, shared equally by everyone regardless of sex, race, nationality, or ethnic background. They are universal in content. Despite this fairly straight forward definition history of human rights, the recognition of human rights by individuals, groups, societies, states, and nations has been a constant battle across both space and time. Throughout the centuries groups or societies have failed to recognize certain human rights of individuals, groups, and cultures while at the same time recognizing those of others. Likewise, conflicting political traditions have elaborated different components of human rights or differed over which elements had priority. Today, the manifold meanings of human rights embodied in this definition reflects this process of history and change.
Read the rest of the review on The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era, published on the main Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources site.
Friday, May 30, 2008
The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Five Important Indigenous People's Issues for the Week of May 20 - May 27, 2008
Indigenous New Zelander’s Want the 'h' Put Back into Wanganui
A battle looms between "Wanganui" rednecks versus "Whanganui" Maori and their enlightened Pakeha cohorts as iwi prepare for another tilt at getting the "h" put back into "Wanganui".
The spelling issue was raised first before the Waitangi Tribunal and then in an unsuccessful application to the Human Rights Commission. The name of the river was corrected in 1991, but not that of the city. A new application is being prepared for the National Geographic Board.
Te Runanga o Tupoho say "Whanganui" (meaning great harbor or expanse of water) is important because it was named by their ancestor, Hau of the Aotea waka, more than 600 years ago, and that "Wanganui" is a meaningless corruption. Read the rest here....
Basic Food Crops Dangerously Vulnerable for Indigenous Peoples
As a deadly new strain of Black Stem Rust devastates wheat harvests across Africa and Arabia, and threatens the staple food supply of a billion people from Egypt to Pakistan, the areas where potentially crop and life-saving remnant wild wheat relatives grow are only minimally protected.
“Our basic food plants have always been vulnerable to attack from new strains of disease or pests and the result is often mass hunger and starvation, as anyone who remembers their school history of the Irish Potato Famine will know,” said Liza Higgins-Zogib, Manager of People and Conservation at WWF International. Read the rest here....
Amazon Indigenous Indians Lead Battle Against Power Giant's Plan to Flood Rainforest
The Amazonian city of Altamira played host to one of the more uneven contests in recent Brazilian history this week, as a colorful alliance of indigenous leaders gathered to take on the might of the state power corporation and stop the construction of an immense hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the Amazon.
At stake are plans to flood large areas of rainforest to make way for the huge Belo Monte hydroelectric dam on the Xingu river. The government is pushing the project as a sustainable energy solution, but critics complain the environmental and social costs are too high.
For people living beside the river, the dam will bring an end to their way of life. Thousands of homes will be submerged and changes in the local ecology will wipe out the livelihoods of many more, killing their main food sources and destroying their raw materials. Read the rest of the story here....
Indigenous Declaration of Kahtihon'Tia:Kwenio
The following declaration will be made by a young Kanien’ke:haka woman somewhere on Onowaregeh, Turtle Island, sometime during the week of May 26, 2008:
DECLARATION OF KAHTIHON’TIA:KWENIO [INDIGENOUS WOMEN OF TURTLE ISLAND] THE KAHTIHON’TIA:KWENIO DECLARE THAT, AS PROVIDED IN WAMPUM 44 OF THE KAIANEREHOWA, GREAT LAW OF PEACE, “THE LINEAL DESCENT OF THE PEOPLE OF THE ROTINONHSONNON:ONWE SHALL RUN IN THE FEMALE LINE. WOMEN ARE THE “PROGENITORS” OF THE NATION” AND ARE THE TRUSTEES OF THE LAND AND THE SOIL FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS. NO ONE ELSE HAS THIS AUTHORITY. AS AFFIRMED IN THE TWO ROW WAMPUM AGREEMENT THE INVADERS CANNOT FORCE THEIR WILL ON THE ONKWEHONWE, ORIGINAL PEOPLE, OF ONOWAREGEH.
MNN. May 24, 2008 - TO: MME. MICHAELLE JEAN, GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA firstname.lastname@example.org
And MR. GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES
REGARDING: THE ILLEGAL OCCUPATION OF ONOWAREGEH OUR INDIGENOUS LAND ON TURTLE ISLAND NORTH, [TURTLE ISLAND BEING NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA].
WE OBJECT TO THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENTS AND THEIR CORPORATE AGENTS FOR THEIR: Read the rest of the Declaration here....
Misguided Notions Damaging Indigenous People's Education Outcomes: Chris Sarra
TONY EASTLEY: The Indigenous community must discard a misguided notion that going to school robs Aboriginal children of their culture, that's according to education expert Dr Chris Sarra.
At the same time, Dr Sarra suggests and argues non-Indigenous Australians must give up the romantic notion that remote communities should be left to their own devices.
Chris Sarra is the director of the Indigenous Education Leadership Institute in Queensland, and he was principal in the late 1990s of Cherbourg State School in south-east Queensland.
He'll outline his ideas to the National Press Club today.
This morning he spoke to AM's Barbara Miller.
CHRIS SARRA: There's been this romantic notion that exists that we should back off Aboriginal children, particularly those in remote communities, and leave them to be more Aboriginal, when in fact we, with that kind of mindset, we tend to lock them away in communities to the extent they can't access the rest of Australian society or other world societies in the same way that any other Australian child can. Read the rest of the interview here....
Last weeks Five Key Indigenous People's Issues can be found here.
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