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UN human rights commission extends mandate of expert on indigenous rights

UN human rights commission extends mandate of expert on indigenous rights

The mandate of the United Nations human rights expert who records and tries to help correct violations of the rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people has been renewed for another three years by the UN Commission on Human Rights.

The position has been held by Mr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen since 2001 when it was created. In his report last November, he said he had decided to focus on the implementation of recent national legislation on the rights of indigenous peoples and to review best practices for combining indigenous customary systems with the national legal system.

The Commission asked the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to make it possible for the Special Rapporteur to attend the third annual session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at UN headquarters next month.

The panel also approved resolutions on tackling violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide, condemning Myanmar's persistent violations of the rights of opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her followers, protecting human rights defenders and promoting human rights education.

It also called on all governments to reduce the number of offences for which the death penalty could be imposed and to remove the penalty altogether from their legislation if they no longer applied it.