Human-rights Approach


Human-rights Approach

Securing Social, Economic and Cultural Rights

Important Reports

Interesting Documents 

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights publishes its interpretation of the content of human rights provisions, in the form of general comments on thematic issues. View General Comments

Commission on Human Rights: 

  • Report by Mr. Doudou Diène, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance Addendum- MISSION TO HONDURAS (2005)

    In Honduras, the Special Rapporteur noted in particular the neglected state of thedepartment of Gracias a Dios - inhabited mostlyby the Miskito and Garifuna (or Garinagu) - which lacked essential health and education infrastructure and was emblematic of the degree of marginalization of those peoples. This marginalization is illustrated, inter alia, by the deplorable situation of crayfish fishermen, who suffer cerebral and physical injuries owing to the frantic pace of underwater dives imposed by the boat owners and receive no social or medical assistance, particularly in the city of Puerto Lempira. On the Caribbean coast, the Garifuna people, who have maintained a strong cultural identity, believe that they have been kept on the margins of Honduran society and fear that they will eventually lose their language because of the shortage of bilingual programmes and control oftheir ancestral lands as a result of tourism development interests that do not respect their rights and cultural identity. Indigenous peoples also suffer from the inadequacy of government efforts to provide bilingual education.

  • UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), Reports submitted by States parties under article 9 of the Convention : International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination : information provided by the Government of New Zealand on the implementation of the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 21 January 2009, CERD/C/NZL/CO/17/Add.1, available at:

    n the Treaty of Waitangi and fishing rights of Maori's, and conservation of marine resources. 
  • United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Sub-Committee on Human Rights Promotion and Protection Working Group on Minorities. 11th Session, May 30-June 3, 2005

    Intervention for Agenda 3.a. The Sea Nomads of the Philippines: On the Verge of Extinction?. On the Sama Dilaut and fishing rights in Philippines 

Human Rights Committee

28. While welcoming decree No. 132 of 4 February 2009 on the sustainable development of indigenous peoples in the North, Siberia and the Far East, and the corresponding action plan for 2009-2011, the Committee expresses concern about the alleged adverse impact upon indigenous peoples of: (a) the 2004 amendment to article 4 of the Federal Law on Guarantees of the Rights of Numerically Small Indigenous Peoples; (b) theprocess of consolidation of the constituent territories of the Russian Federation through absorption of national autonomous areas; and (c) the exploitation of lands, fishing grounds and natural resources traditionally belonging to indigenous peoples through granting of licenses to private companies for development projects such as the construction of pipelines and hydroelectric dams. (art.27)

The State party should provide, in its next periodic report, detailed information on the impact of these measures upon the traditional habitat, way of life and economic activities of indigenous peoples in the State party, as well as on their enjoyment of rights guaranteed under article 27 of the Covenant

Excerpts from the letter: "The committee considered the situation of the small-numbered indigenous peoples from the Nanai District of the Khabarovsk Krai, on a preliminary basis, under its early warning and urgent action procedure, in light of information submitted by a non-governmental organisation. The Committee expresses its concern about information received according to which the new federal law “On amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russia Federation” which was to be adopted in 2012 contains amendments on the Fishery Law which will reportedly affect negatively traditional economic activities of small-numbered indigenous peoples of the Russian North, Siberia and the Far East. The Committee is concerned that the new federal law may aggravate the situation of those indigenous peoples as compared with previous fishery rules, by preventing them from selling fish for their livelihood

It is alleged that, under the new law, authorities may impose restrictions on fishing without any
consultation with the indigenous people’s community. It is alleged that vesting constituent entities with the right to determine the areas of catching may result in the allotment to indigenous peoples of areas little suitable for fishing. Moreover, use of the fishing grounds will reportedly be allowed for industrial purposes and sold at auctions, making them inaccessible to the indigenous communities. The committee requests the State part to inform the Committee on measures taken to ensure that the application of the new law will not endanger fishing activities and livelihood of the Nanai District indigenous peoples as well as other indigenous peoples in other regions of the Russian federation. In this context, the Committee recommends that the State part conduct an impact assessment of the new law on the traditional economic activities and sustainability of those populations and ensure their effective participation in the process pertaining to its implementation."

Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 9 of the convention - Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - Norway, CERD/C/NOR/CO/19-20, 8 April 2011

Excerpts from the document
18. The Committee is concerned that measures taken may not be sufficient to preserve and promote the culture of the Sami people and address the special situation of the East Sami, in particular regarding their access to land for reindeer grazing and that of the Sea Sami, in particular regarding their fishing rights. 

In light of its general recommendation No. 23, the Committee recommends that the State party consult with the East Sami and Sea Sami and implement measures with a view to enabling them to fully enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms and to maintain and develop their culture, means of livelihood, including management of land and natural resources, in particular regarding reindeer grazing and fishing.


Human Rights Council

Final Study of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee on the Advancement of the right of Peasants and other people working in the rural areas

24 February 2012.