Free, prior and informed consent

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Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) refers to the rights of local communities, particularly indigenous peoples, to participate in decision making about issues impacting them. Examples include natural resource management, economic development, uses of traditional knowledge and genetic resources, health care and education.

In international development[edit]

The principle of FPIC within international development is most clearly stated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Article 10 states:

Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.[1]

Articles 11, 19, 28 and 29 of the declaration also explicitly use the term. [1] It is also established in international conventions, notably the ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples. Countries including Peru, Australia and the Philippines have included FPIC in national law.[2]

In climate change negotiations[edit]

In UNFCCC climate change negotiations on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) it is noted that the United Nations General Assembly has adopted UNDRIP; diplomatic language signifying that UNDRIP applies.[3] This reference is made in the context of a so-called safeguard for REDD+, specifically the instruction to have respect for the knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples and members of local communities when undertaking REDD+ activities. FPIC has been widely applied since for demonstration projects on REDD+, particularly after the United Nations REDD Programme published a report on its efforts to develop a methodology for FPIC for REDD+ for its country program in Vietnam.[4][5] Early in 2013, the global United Nations REDD Programme issued guidelines for the application of FPIC that are mandatory for all UN-REDD country programmes, including an analysis of jurisprudence on FPIC in various contexts.[6]

In international law[edit]

The role of indigenous peoples' FPIC in decisions about infrastructure or extractive industries developed on their ancestral domain is of concern within international law.[7] Such projects lacking FPIC are called development aggression by indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples' lack of access to accountability and grievance mechanisms to address human rights violations has been formally raised with the United Nations Human Rights Council. Asian indigenous peoples have urged the UN to address this before economic integration of ASEAN in 2015,[8] given the human rights records of member states such as Myanmar and Laos, which are among the world's most repressive societies.[9]

See also[edit]