Human Rights Advocacy at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Posted on: Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Last week, representatives from around the world traveled to New York for the eighth annual United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). The goal of this year’s forum was to advance the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The landmark declaration was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007 after two decades of organizing by Indigenous Peoples.
Indigenous women leaders from three of MADRE’s partner organizations were at the Forum: women from Chirapaq, Daughters of the Stars, and the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (IIWF/FIMI). They played a crucial role in ensuring that Indigenous women's rights are recognized as integral to the rights of Indigenous Peoples in general.
Monica Aleman, FIMI’s Executive Director, blogged about the Forum, saying, “Due to their geographical location and language barriers, Indigenous women face constant difficulties in positioning their priorities on agendas that are set at the global level. Therefore having the space at the UNPFII becomes even more relevant for such marginalized communities and voices.”
MADRE co-sponsored a FIMI panel on violence against Indigenous women. The highlight of the event was an open dialogue on gender-based violence in Indigenous communities, an issue which is often overlooked in discussions on Indigenous Rights and Women’s Rights.
MADRE was honored to host participants from the Forum at the MADRE office last Wednesday evening. People from all over the world shared an evening of great conversation, food and dancing. MADRE’s Executive Director stated, “It was very important for people to have a space where they could socialize outside of the meetings. MADRE should always be seen as a home away from home for the many organizations we partner with around the world.”
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