FREE, PRIOR, INFORMED CONSENT
Urge Canada to help safeguard the human rights of Indigenous peoples affected by resource development projects at home and abroad. Indigenous peoples have the right to make their own decisions about how and when their lands and resources will be used and developed.This right of free, prior and informed consent or FPIC provides a vital safeguard for distinctive cultures and ways of life that have long been marginalized and discriminated against.
The right of FPIC is set out in numerous provisions of the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in countless rulings and statements from international human rights bodies. The standard has been adopted by the International Financial Corporation – the arm of the World Bank responsible for private sector investment - and endorsed by leading sectors of global industry.
However, the government of Canada acts as though the right doesn’t even exist. This is a significant problem for the realization and protection of human rights because Canada is at the center of a global push to exploit the resources of Indigenous peoples' lands.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan is intended to support an estimated 600 new large-scale resource development projects across Canada in the next decade, many of which will impact the lands and territories of Indigenous peoples. At the same time, through trade agreements and direct support to corporations, the federal government is promoting rapid expansion of mining, oil and gas, and other extractive industries around the world – including in countries like Colombia and Guatemala where there is widespread and brutal violations of the rights of Indigenous peoples.