Human rights chief calls for more action to honour treaties with indigenous peoplesListen /
Countries need to do more to honour and strengthen their treaties with indigenous peoples, no matter how long ago they were signed.
That message comes from UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay in a statement ahead of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, observed on 9 August.
Ms. Pillay says these agreements are of major significance to human rights today as they are the cornerstone for the protection of the identity, land and customs of indigenous peoples.
Although the honouring of treaties has frequently been described as a sacred undertaking requiring good faith on both sides, she says indigenous communities often have to go to court to get them enforced.
The Human Rights chief says the fact that exploitation and expropriation continue today underscores the need to do more to protect the rights of the estimated 370 million indigenous people worldwide.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.