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Joint Nordic statement on the rights of indigenous peoples

Human Rights Council

39th Session

Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP)

19 September 2018

Statement on behalf of the Nordic countries

Mr. President,


I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Denmark together with Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. 


We welcome the reports presented by both the Special Rapporteur and the Expert Mechanism. During its 10th session in July 2017, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Expert Mechanism), under its mandate in resolution 33/25, decided to produce a study on “free, prior and informed consent” (FPIC), as it appears in several provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).


In this study the Expert Mechanism provides insight how EMRIP understands free, prior and informed consent. We look forward to reading the final version, in light of the input that has been given on the draft version.The concept of free, prior and informed consent is closely connected to consultations, which serve as an important tool to secure participation from indigenous peoples in decision-making processes and as a tool to increase knowledge of indigenous peoples' issues in Government ministries and agencies. Consultation requires resources as well as time. The consultations must for example take place at a time where it is still possible to influence the legislative or administrative measures.

Turning to the report by the Special Rapporteur. We note with concern the findings of her report highlighting the unique vulnerability of indigenous human rights defenders towards attacks and criminalization.

The work of indigenous human rights defenders is highly important as it attests to the developments on the ground – for better or for worse - and provides important information to this Council. The work of indigenous human rights defenders must be safeguarded and their efforts recognized for its importance in the advancement of the rights of indigenous peoples.



In closing, we would like the Special Rapporteur’s reflections onwhat good practices can be identified in implementation of human rights impact assessments for large scale development projects?


Thank you for your attention.


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