UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People Seeks New Members

The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People (Expert Mechanism) is currently accepting nominations for two new expert members, one from Latin America and Caribbean countries, and the other from Eastern European countries. Individual candidates must be nominated by January 15, 2013.

In 2007 the UN Human Rights Council created the Expert Mechanism as a subsidiary body, also know as a special procedure, of the Council as part of the High Commissioner of Human Rights’ efforts at promoting and protecting indigenous peoples’ human rights.

The Expert Mechanism’s five experts meet once annually to advise the Council on the rights of indigenous peoples and present proposals to the Council for addressing indigenous peoples’ rights. In order to advise the Council, the Expert Mechanism studied issues such as “the role of languages and culture in the promotion and protection of the rights and identity of indigenous peoples” and indigenous peoples’ right to be involved in decision making by extractive industries in member states, among many other issues.  The Expert Mechanism’s complete studies are available online.

While the Council gives weight to maintaining a gender balance among the experts, the main criteria for candidates are expertise, experience in the field of indigenous peoples’ rights, independence, impartiality, personal integrity, and objectivity. Details on the application process are available online and must include a brief “motivational statement.”  The Council will officially appoint the two successful candidates at the 22nd Council session which will take place from February 25 through March 22, 2013.