At its meeting in Santo Domingo on June 15, 2016, the General Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS) comprising 35 independent states of the Americas adopted the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Declaration is the first instrument in the history of the OAS to promote and protect the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Americas and has taken 17 years to come to fruition.
Together with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it is a basic instrument for the survival, dignity, and wellbeing of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
The Declaration recognizes that self-identification as indigenous peoples will be a fundamental criterion for determining to whom the Declaration applies and that:
- Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination.
- Gender equality: indigenous women have collective rights that are indispensable for their existence, wellbeing, and comprehensive development as peoples.
- Indigenous persons and communities have the right to belong to one or more indigenous peoples, in accordance with the identity, traditions, and customs of belonging of each people.
- States shall recognize fully their juridical personality, respecting their forms of organization and promoting the full exercise of the rights recognized in the Declaration.
- Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, express, and freely develop their cultural identity.
- Indigenous peoples have the right to not be subjected to any form of genocide.
- Indigenous peoples have the right not to be subject to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, or other related forms of intolerance.
- Indigenous peoples have the right to their own cultural identity and integrity and to their cultural heritage.
- Indigenous peoples have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal affairs.
- Indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation or initial contact have the right to remain in that condition and to live freely and in accordance with their cultures.
- Indigenous peoples have the rights and guarantees recognized in national and international labor law.
- Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories, and resources that they have traditionally owned, occupied, used, or acquired.
The OAS recognises that Tourism, both public and private, is one of the principal economic sectors for many member states of the OAS.
The mission of Culture and Tourism Section of OAS is to support the development of tangible and intangible cultural and tourism assets and cement new and established links between the tourism and culture sectors to enhance the contribution of both sectors to economic and social development in OAS member states.
By acting as the technical secretariat for the Inter-American Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities on Culture and the Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism, the Culture and Tourism Section of the OAS facilitates the Inter-American political and technical dialogue towards the development of culture and tourism in the Americas.
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