UN expert calls for Ecuador to prioritize rights of indigenous peoples
© WikiMedia (Diego Delso)

UN expert calls for Ecuador to prioritize rights of indigenous peoples

A UN human rights expert on Thursday called on the government of Ecuador to “protect the rights of indigenous peoples as a surge in demand for extractive resources and new development projects puts additional pressure on the indigenous population.”

The expert “urged the Government to take action to build the plurinational and multicultural society that was envisioned in the 2008 Constitution.” Indigenous peoples’ land and resources have been impacted by government projects, which have caused “pollution of the environment and water sources, deterioration of health, food insecurity” as well as conflict in indigenous communities.

The expert “welcomed the new Government’s initiative to establish a continuing dialogue with indigenous peoples,” which included commitments to bilingual education and amnesty to indigenous leaders. The expert also assessed the Government’s progress and remaining challenges, and a full report from her visit will be presented in September 2019.