IACHR HAILS TITLING OF AWAS TINGNI COMMUNITY LANDS IN NICARAGUA
Washington, D.C., December 18, 2008 — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) praises the demarcation and titling of ancestral lands belonging to Nicaragua’s Mayangna Awas Tingni Indigenous Community.
On Sunday, December 14, the government of Nicaragua gave the Awas Tingni Community the property title to 73,000 hectares of its territory, located on the country’s Atlantic Coast. This marked a critical step forward in the resolution of a case the IACHR took to the Inter-American Court in 1998, the first case on indigenous peoples’ collective property rights that the Commission had asked the Court to hear. The judgment handed down on August 31, 2001, by the Inter-American Court became a historic milestone in the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples around the world, and an important legal precedent in international human rights law.
A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.
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