The right to free, informed and prior consent by indigenous people


“(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;

“(b) establish means by which these peoples can freely participate, to at least the same extent as other sectors of the population, at all levels of decision-making in elective institutions and administrative and other bodies responsible for policies and programmes which concern them …”.

Conflicts over development projects on the lands of indigenous peoples lead to further violations of human rights. For instance, forced evictions from their traditional lands may lead to breaches of civil and political rights such as the right to life, the right to security of the person, the right to non-interference with privacy, family and home, and the right to the peaceful enjoyment of possessions.

Some States legislation

  • The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (amended in 1987) of Australia
  • The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act 1997 of the Philippines recognizes the indigenous right to ancestral domain and the land title to traditional lands.