Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

The fifth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

By Les Malezer - posted Monday, 17 September 2012

Thursday September 13, 2012 was the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Without doubt this international instrument has already been established universally as a human rights benchmark to confirm the indigenous peoples of the world are equal to all other peoples.

This achievement, within the first five years of its life, is verification that the rights of our peoples, encompassing social organisation, cultures, territories and development, are progressively being acknowledged.


Our collective rights as peoples are being expressed, interpreted, integrated and experienced by the many distinct indigenous populations, populations which historically have been ruthlessly dominated and exploited by powerful, gregarious societies.

Indigenous peoples everywhere are citing the Declaration and its components as they vie for equality and non-discrimination in their own territories.

Slowly but surely, member States of the United Nations are revising their relationships with indigenous peoples to respect these human rights.

We can see evidence that basic human rights as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are being given extra attention where indigenous peoples are involved.

More importantly the collective rights of indigenous peoples, rights which are so vital to the survival and success of civilizations, can no longer be denied or opppressed through legitimisation by the authority of States.

Indigenous peoples have much to expect from the United Nations to ensure the equality of peoples is respected at the global level.


The establishment of mechanisms, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues are concrete steps already taken to guarantee change.

These are very specific and important actions taken by the United Nations to ensure that the rights of Indigenous Peoples are a priority concern towards not only global peace, security and development, but also the wellbeing of the cultural and ecological environs.

States should be taking consequent steps, if they have not already done so, to broaden the momentum for change.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

10 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Les Malezer is from the Butchulla/Gubbi Gubbi peoples in southeast Queensland. He is the Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples and Chairperson of the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (FAIRA) and in that role he is a delegate to United Nations forums on Indigenous issues.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 10 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy