Expert Seminar on Access to Justice for Indigenous People

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On February 27, Eli Makagon attended the International Expert Seminar on Access to Justice for Indigenous Peoples including Truth and Reconciliation Processes at Columbia University 27 February – 1 March, 2013.

Pablo de Greiff, the United Nations Special Rapporteur
speaking on the promotion of truth, justice,
reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.
(Courtesy of Eli Makagon)

The Expert Seminar was co-organized by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program, and the International Center for Transitional Justice. The primary objective of the Expert Seminar was to contribute to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ study on that topic, as requested by the United Nations Human Rights Council in resolution 21/24 of September 2012. Pablo de Greiff, the first Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, opened the Expert Seminar with a discussion of transitional justice, noting that the field has been integrated into international discourse at an “astounding” level.

During the Expert Seminar, a variety of speakers and panelists, including members of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People and the Office of the High Commission of Human Rights, members of local communities, academics, and others discussed issues related to truth and reconciliation processes. Some of the issues discussed were the relationship between truth and reconciliation processes and self-determination, specific challenges of truth-seeking and reconciliation to deal with injustice against Indigenous peoples, and the relationship between indigenous peoples’ access to justice and other rights of indigenous peoples. The views and ideas expressed during the Expert Seminar will be turned into an edited volume that will contribute to the study of the UN Expert Mechanism on Indigenous peoples’ Rights.

11 March 2013

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