The EU works on a large number of fields and of specific issues at global and local levels. It has an influence both on its Member States and on the rest of the world through its partnerships (economical, development, etc.). Therefore, even if your community is not located on the EU territory, the EU might be able to take action to address human rights violations on the ground if there is a link with the EU (eg. a company owned totally or partially by a EU Member State whose actions lead to human rights violations, etc.).
In addition, since the EU applies UN rules in terms of human rights, Docip office in Brussels works in collaboration with our colleagues in Docip office in Geneva for creating a synergy of actions between these two systems of human rights.
What do we do?
Docip Office in Brussels was established to assist and support indigenous peoples in advocating for their rights in the EU.
Information: we work in Brussels to inform you (through Docip's communication channels) about (a) the EU system of human rights, (b) the EU agenda, and (c) the possibilities of action for indigenous peoples to address human rights violations.
Connecting link: we relay information between indigenous peoples and EU decision-makers (when a region or an indigenous community faces serious difficulties, whether in regard to human rights abuses or issues related to development, environment, economic or social situations, etc.)
Support in advocacy: we assist and support indigenous peoples who wish (a) to raise awareness of indigenous peoples issues on the ground, (b) to advocate for the promotion and protection of their human rights, and (c) to contribute with the EU in making indigenous peoples an EU priority.
What can the EU do?
- The EU requires that all its partners respect human rights.
- The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) can take your issues into account when exercising their legislative power and can use their moral authority and influence with the media to call attention on human rights violations (whether it is from Brussels or during a mission in your region).
- The European Commission, as the EU financial power, can put pressure on public or private partners on the ground involved in such human rights violations.
- The EU maintains diplomatic relations worldwide through its European External Action Service (EEAS) and can put pressure on public or private partners on the ground, notably through the EU Delegation on the ground.
- The Court of Justice of the European Union may impose penalties on a EU Member State if it does not apply a European rule.
How to take action?
It is crucial to:
- set up a complete file with information about your community, the context and human rights violations on the ground.
- identify the relevant EU actors in charge of your issues.
- make concrete recommendations to the EU, adapted to both the EU system of human rights and the EU agenda.
To this end, Docip Office in Brussels is at your entire disposal at the following e-mail address: eu(at)docip.org. We can support you at all stages and provide you with the relevant contacts, ensure the coordination and the follow-up with EU institutions, as well as during your visit in Brussels.