Thursday, 27 September 2012

The right of... to be NOT consulted (?)

Back in 2011 the Chilean government passed a regulation (Decreto Supremo N° 50),that lays out a process by which state-protected areas can be opened up for tourism and hence, tourism concessions are to be granted – this regulation was published in April 2012. The Council of the Atacameño People (an organization that has leaders from many different Atacameño communities) argues that such regulation affects their interests and requests that they, as well as any other indigenous communities, shall be consulted -- grounds founded under article 6 of the ILO Convention 169.

"1. In applying the provisions of this Convention, governments shall:
(a) consult the peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, whenever consideration is being given to legislative or administrative measures which may affect them directly"

However, the Santiago Court of Appeals ( hearing the case) unanimously rejected such grounds on the basis that the said regulation “has caused no harm nor affected indigenous peoples to an extent that it requires consultation.” Yet, the Court went on to establish at numeral 10 that “any concessions that affected indigenous communities were to be held to the strict standards of consultation laid out in Articles 6,7 and 8 of ILO Convention 169, especially the reference to the participation of these communities in making decisions that affect the territories where they live.”

Source Indigenous News here.

The decision can be read here.

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