August 12, 2012

UN Experts: Media Plays Vital Role in Empowering Indigenous Rights


Media plays vital role in empowering indigenous rights – UN experts
August 8, 2012

In light of this year’s theme “Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices”, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, have stressed the vital role that media can play in the respect for, and the promotion and protection of, indigenous peoples’ rights.

The right of indigenous peoples to establish their own media in their own languages is a key right in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (article 16). The Expert Mechanism, in its 2012 study on indigenous peoples’ languages and cultures, highlights that media can be an essential tool for the revitalization of indigenous languages, especially in the education of indigenous children.

The Special Rapporteur, James Anaya, has similarly emphasized the importance of media for maintaining indigenous languages as well as for exercising and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Indigenous media can reduce the marginalization and misinterpretation of indigenous voices, which has been detrimental to their attempts to secure an understanding of, and respect for, their rights within the broader societies in which they live.

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