Organisation Internationale de Droit du Développement

54th Session of the Human Rights Council

Statement by International Development Law Organization (IDLO)

Annual half-day panel discussion on the rights of Indigenous Peoples
Room XX, Palais des Nations
September 27, 2023
Geneva, Switzerland
Mr. Vice-President,
Distinguished Panel,

It is my honour to speak on behalf of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the only global intergovernmental organisation exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law to advance peace and sustainable development.

IDLO strongly supports the implementation of measures to ensure that Indigenous Peoples can exercise their rights to determine and develop sustainable development priorities, consistent with Article 23 of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international human rights standards.

The rule of law is a powerful tool for ensuring the full implementation of the Declaration.

First, laws play a critical role in promoting and protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples. In particular, recognition and protection of Indigenous Peoples’ rights to lands, territories, and resources and the flourishing of their cultures and values, including through laws, regulations and other measures, is central to their full and meaningful participation in decision-making, as well as in addressing pressing development challenges, such as inequalities, climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

Second, it is essential to ensure access to justice for Indigenous People, especially Indigenous women,   including by recognizing and supporting  Indigenous justice systems that respect, protect and promote human rights.

Third, Indigenous human rights defenders are instrumental in preventing adverse impacts of development projects on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Indigenous Peoples, especially Indigenous women and youth, should be empowered to defend and claim their rights, including by setting up effective measures against gender-based violence and harassment.

IDLO is committed to work with Indigenous Peoples and the international community to promote and protect the full spectrum of Indigenous People’s rights, including the realization of the principle of free, prior, and informed consent, especially as they become increasingly affected and eroded by the climate crisis.

We look forward to exploring with you how IDLO can contribute to advancing this discussion, and forge relationships of trust and solidarity with Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and other committed stakeholders.

Thank you.