Over nearly two-and-a-half decades, indigenous peoples and their supporters expended enormous energy on developing a declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples that both protects and promotes their individual and collective rights. The debates surrounding the declaration focused on issues ranging from self- determination to the rights of indigenous peoples to practice their cultures and to participate in decision making. The declaration establishes the requirement for fair and adequate compensation for violations of rights and directly addresses the issues of ethnocide and genocide. The United Nations General Assembly passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on 13 September 2007, with 143 votes in favor, four votes against, and eleven abstentions. Notably, the votes against were cast by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. Implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be a complex process, especially given that many indigenous communities today are located in places where states, private companies, and individuals are competing for resources, sometimes with deadly results.
Garcia-Alix, Lori and Hitchcock, Robert K.
"A Report from the Field: The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples—Implementation and Implications,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol4/iss1/7