As part of its mandate to facilitate relations between the EU and indigenous peoples, Docip provides direct support to indigenous peoples who wish to inform the EU of issues having an impact on their communities. In addition, indigenous peoples regularly participate to events organised by the EU regarding human rights and development.
Please find below some of the main meetings and events organised by the EU in which indigenous peoples have the possibility to participate.
The respect for human rights is one of the EU's fundamental values. The European Parliament supports human rights notably through the annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, established in 1988. The prize is awarded to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the fight for human rights across the globe, drawing attention to human rights violations as well as supporting the laureates and their cause.
In 2017, we had the chance to welcome to Brussels one of the three finalists of the Sakharov Prize, Ms. Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, a human rights defender from the Ki'che' Peoples (Guatemala), subjected to threats because of her fight for human rights. She is a member from the Council of Ki'che' Peoples (CPK), an organisation that fights to protect natural resources and human rights from the expansion of mining, logging, hydroelectric and agro-industry sectors in the territory.
Organised by the European Commission, the EDD brings the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.
In 2018, the EDD focused on "Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development" to promote a safer, more inclusive and open world for women. Two panels were dedicated to indigenous peoples regarding land ("My community, my land, my rights! The Land Rights Now campaign for secure indigenous and community lands and how to ensure equal land rights for women") and pastoralism ("Women's empowerment in pastoralist societies. How pastoralist women are key actors in developing value chains, dealing with climate change and fighting for land rights").
Organised by the European Commission (DG DEVCO), the Partnership Forum aims at (1) stimulating an open dialogue on how to further strengthen our collaboration towards the implementation and localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals and of the European Consensus on Development, (2) enabling networking and increase synergies between various stakeholders and the European Commission, and (3) offering a platform to share information and good practices.
The European Commission has developed Framework Partnership Agreements with civil society organisations and associations of local authorities across Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and Europe, which cover a wide array of fields of intervention: anti-corruption, gender, accountability, human rights, political and social inclusion or economic empowerment, decentralisation, and good and inclusive local governance, decentralised cooperation. These Framework Partnership Agreements illustrate the commitment of the European Commission to support civil society organisations and associations of local authorities as actors of governance. The agreements encourage actors to contribute to policy-making at regional and global levels, especially in the formulation and monitoring of policies on the implementation and localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the European Consensus on Development.
In 2016, as part of the discussions on "Localising the SDGs: Working with CSOs at Grass-root Level", our colleagues from ILO, IWGIA, Tebtebba, AIPP, Forest Peoples Programme and the Danish Institute for Human Rights presented "The Indigenous Navigator".
In 2017, the Forum dedicated a panel on "Making the SDGs works for IPs: partnership with Indigenous Peoples" with the participation of indigenous peoples in order to discuss the role of indigenous peoples and to explore concrete avenues for a tactical contribution to the implementation of the SDGs, in particular regarding their distinct rights, needs and capacities and the implementation of rights-based approaches. It also addressed the link between indigenous peoples' agenda, and gender, disability, youth, and climate change-approaches.
As part of the broader dialogue and engagement between the EU and civil society, the EU-NGOs Forum on Human Rights is jointly organised every year by the EEAS and the European Commission together with the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN - the Brussels based network of 50 NGOs operating at the EU level in the broader areas of human rights, democracy and peace).
In 2018, in the mark of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration, the 20th EU-NGO Forum on Human Rights was dedicated to the overarching theme of "Defending universality - Making Human Rights a Reality". The aim of the 2018 Forum was to identify how to increase the impact and coherence of EU external action on human rights and democracy in a more connected, contested and challenging global environment, and to discuss the way forward on how we can best achieve our objectives of promoting and protecting human rights, in conjunction with civil society.
During the discussions on "New areas of engagement on human rights", the panel on "Climate change, land environment and right to water" gathered indigenous peoples, MEP and members of NGO to discuss about the key role of indigenous peoples in defending climate, land, environment and water through exercising their human rights.
Every year since 2007, the European Parliament LUX FILM PRIZE has shone a spotlight on films that raise awareness about some of today's main social and political issues and, as a result, help to build a stronger European identity. By illustrating the diversity of European traditions and shedding light on the process of European integration, they help celebrate the universal reach of European values.
In 2017, the European Parliament decided to draw attention to discrimination faced by Sámi peoples by awarding the LUX Prize to "Sámi Blood" (Amanda Kernell), a film about a reindeer-breeding Sámi girl who is exposed to the racism of the 1930's and race biology examinations at her boarding school.
From 19-23 November 2018, the European Parliament organised its first Human Rights Week to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A high-level conference was organised on 20 November bringing together MEPs, high-level guests, members of national parliaments, representatives of regional and international organisations, artists and representatives of civil society to reflect on the relevance and importance of the core principles of human rights and debate new challenges in a global and digital world. On this occasion, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mrs. Federica Mogherini, included explicitly indigenous peoples in her introductory speech by stating "These are stories of empowerment and emancipation, wrongs that were made right, communities made stronger through the work of civil society organisations. [...] Indigenous people can continue to live in their fathers' land and preserve their culture. [...]".
Docip Office in Brussels has been supporting indigenous persons with disabilities in advocating for their rights and raising awareness in the EU about multiple discrimination faced by indigenous persons with disabilities. As part of this, indigenous persons with disabilities have participated to the following events: "Bridging the Gap II" (a project funded by the EU which carries out actions aimed at increasing the inclusion of persons with disabilities at both the international and country level) and the "4th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities" (event marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, gathering more than 600 persons with disabilities from all over Europe to discuss the next European Disability Strategy and the EU being a global leader on inclusive Sustainable Development).