23:32 GMT22 April 2021
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    Amnesty International stated that a proposed declaration by the Organization of American States on human rights could pose an alarming threat for Native American peoples rather than help them.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A proposed declaration by the Organization of American States (OAS) on human rights could pose an alarming threat for Native American peoples rather than help them, Amnesty International said in a statement.

    "[The Declaration] is even more alarming considering how much still remains to be done to end the discrimination that Indigenous peoples have suffered for centuries in the continent," Amnesty International said on Thursday.

    The 35-nation OAS proposed the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (ADRIP) allegedly to strengthen safeguards for Native peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere.

    "It is extremely worrying that during drafting of the… [declaration] text has been introduced that would push back on the progress made in the past decade," the Amnesty statement said.

    On May 15, 2015, indigenous representatives withdrew from the negotiating sessions at the OAS after several countries insisted on including provisions that would endorse national laws overriding human rights protections.

    "The states participating in this process had already agreed to accept the UN Declaration [on Human Rights], which marked a milestone in the history of the rights of Indigenous peoples as the global minimum standard," Amnesty added.

    Representatives of Native peoples walked out on the OAS 18-year process, refusing to allow the UN standards to be subordinate “to national legislation.”

    The OAS negotiating process towards the ADRIP started in 1997 and was expected to be completed with a consensus agreement this month.

    Amnesty International is a New York-based organization that investigates and exposes human rights abuses, according to the organization's website.


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