The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) issued a new report after its periodic review of Ecuador’s compliance with human rights obligations. Here are the report’s highlights by Fundación Pachamama, regarding the country’s:
CERD expressed concerns about the government’s development pathway, driven by extractive projects, in spite of its direct impact on the rights of indigenous peoples, people of African descent, countrymen of the coast, as well as other groups.
The Committee conveyed special preoccupation about the extractive policies that would affect the Tagaeri and the Taromenane, Ecuador’s indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation, and urges the government to comply with the precautionary measures established by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, and strengthen the strategies put in place to protect the life and livelihood of these peoples by:
- calling off all extractive activities in their territory,
- using traditional mobility practices of indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation, and/or
- considering broadening the Tagaeri Taromenane Intangible Zone.
CERD also regrets the lack of progress of the National Assembly in creating legislation that guarantees the consultation right of indigenous peoples according to the established international standards. On the contrary, the country has promoted internal regulations to allow for a pre-legislative consultation that does not entrust indigenous nationalities with their rightful, free, previous and informed participation role. Furthermore, the process that has been already set forth is not being accomplished veraciously as it will not consider incorporating the discrepancies and disagreements brought up so far.
Additional concerns regarding the “arbitrary detentions and unfounded accusations when (indigenous peoples) are organized or participate in social protests” were also funneled through this report; particularly when indigenous leaders protest against laws that regulate the use of natural resources, and in favor or the right to previous, free and informed consultation.
To issue its concluding observations, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination takes into account information provided by the country being evaluated, but also information provided by the civil society. You can read in Spanish the document our sister organization in Ecuador contributed to the evaluation process.