The United Nations just made a major announcement on the Dakota Access Pipeline

By: Nathan Wellman via

North Dakota is moving forward with construction of its DAPL pipeline despite a representative from the United Nations explicitly calling on the United States to halt it.

Victoria Tauli-Corpus, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, issued a press release last September that was officially issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in defense of the Sioux Tribe and its allies:

“The tribe was denied access to information and excluded from consultations at the planning stage of the project and environmental assessments failed to disclose the presence and proximity of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

“The United States should, in accordance with its commitment to implement the Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples, consult with the affected communities in good faith and ensure their free, and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands, particularly in connection with extractive resource industries.

“I urge the United States Government to undertake a thorough review of its compliance with international standards regarding the obligation to consult with indigenous peoples and obtain their free and informed consent. The statutory framework should be amended to include provisions to that effect and it is important that the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Advisory Council on Historic Preservation participate in the review of legislation.”

Tauli-Corpus also said the US should defend those protesting the construction of the four-state-long pipeline, saying “The US authorities should fully protect and facilitate the right to freedom of peaceful assembly of indigenous peoples, which plays a key role in empowering their ability to claim other rights.”

Dozens of peaceful protesters were arrested by heavily armed police in riot gear yesterday, with officers deploying potentially ear-damaging sonic cannons in an effort to get the crowds to disperse. In one other instance, improperly licensed mercenaries working for the pipeline deployed attack dogs on the protesters.

Special Rapporteurs are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council and are tasked to point out human rights concerns as they develop around the world. While these experts are not official UN staff, their work can lead to the UN taking a greater interest in a developing human rights situation.

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