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Expert mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples: Call for submissions

Report on "The militarization of indigenous land: a human rights focus."


Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 33/25, during its fourteenth session in 2021, the Expert Mechanism confirmed its decision to prepare a report on the militarization of indigenous land.


A draft report will be introduced by the Expert Mechanism at its annual session, due to take place in July 2022, after which it will be finalised and presented to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-first session in September 2022.

Objectives and types of input/comments sought

The report will address efforts to implement the Declaration, in particular Article 30.1, that states “Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples, unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned.” Article 30.2 further explains that “States shall undertake effective consultations with the indigenous peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, prior to using their lands or territories for military activities.” 

This article is strictly linked to Articles 26, 30, 7, 32, 29, 10, 36, 23 and 19 of the Declaration:

  • Article 7 recognizes that indigenous peoples have both individual and collective rights to life, liberty and security and to be free from acts of genocide or other violence and that they have the right to live in security, peace and freedom. 
  • Article 32 recognizes that indigenous peoples have a right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their own lands or territories and other resources and that States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their land or territories and other resources.
  • Article 29 provides for the right of indigenous peoples to conserve and protect their lands, territories and resources.
  • Article 10 of the Declaration recognizes the right of Indigenous peoples not to be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. It states, “no relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, the option of return.”
  • As borders can often be a site of heavy militarization, article 36 of the Declaration recognizes that Indigenous peoples, especially those divided by international borders, have “the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes” and that states shall take necessary measures to “facilitate the exercise and ensure implementation of this right.”
  • Article 23 of the Declaration recognizes indigenous peoples’ right to determine their own development priorities and strategies as well as the right to be actively involved in developing and administering their own health, housing, economic and social programmes through their own institutions.
  • Article 19 of the Declaration instructs states to “consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting any legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.”

The purpose of this report is to assess the extent to which Articles 26, 30, 7, 32, 29, 10, 36, 23 and 19 have been and are being implemented or considered on a national basis.

To assist all parties in contributing to this seminar, the Expert Mechanism sets out below some of the elements it intends to focus on, but is not limited to, in its report.

  • Consider the types of militarization of indigenous lands that occur around the world.
  • Examine the conditions that lead to militarization of indigenous lands and how that militarization impedes the implementation of indigenous peoples’ rights.
  • Consider the main challenges impeding realization of Articles 26, 30, 7, 32, 29, 10, 36, 23 and 19 of the Declaration.
  • Mechanisms and methods to resolving military conflicts and potential conflicts that could potentially bring about increased militarization on indigenous lands.
  • Consider how indigenous peoples’ own laws and customs, as well as national and international law, can be used to facilitate peaceful resolution of conflicts.
  • Problem solving approaches that facilitate constructive dialogue between States and indigenous peoples.

The Expert Mechanism hereby requests contributions from Indigenous Peoples, States, National Human Rights Institutions, academics and other stakeholders for this report.

How and where to submit inputs

Submissions should be sent by e-mail to no later than 7 February 2022, in English, French or Spanish, in WORD format and no longer than 5 pages.

Treatment of inputs received

All submissions will be posted on the OHCHR website at the time of the report’s publication, except those containing a clear request not to be made public.