A manual is being published by the National Human Rights Commission in Mexico on policies and resources of international intergovernmental, governmental, and non-governmental agencies regarding indigenous peoples in Mexico, Central, and South America.

Compiled and Edited by: Lydia van de Fliert

The address of the CNDH is:

Sr. Hurtado
Encargado del depto. de publicaciones
Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Carretera Ajusco Picacho # 238, TORRE 2, Piso 4
Col. Jardines de la Montana
14100 Mexico, D.F.
Tel: 52.5.631-5758/631-3948 extensiones 345 y 344.
Fax: 52.5 631.2633

Description, Table of Contents, and excerpts in Spanish

Brief explanation of the project:

With the generous support of DANIDA (Danish government), the European Human Rights Foundation (depending on the European Commission), Broederlijk Delen (a Belgian NGO) and Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchu, and at the request of numerous indigenous representatives in Central and South America and support groups in Europe, a guidebook in Spanish on policies, projects, financial and technical support of international organisations, government agencies and non-governmental organisations has been prepared for publishing.

The book seeks to become an instrument for indigenous and associated organisations in their effort to improve understanding and application of international standards on the rights of indigenous peoples, thus contributing to their quest for justice and empowerment. In addition, the publication aims to advance access of indigenous peoples to international organisations and donor agencies that often seem so complex and remote.

To ensure maximum participation and seek advise about the content and distribution of the publication, experts and organisations all over the world were approached and an Advisory-Editorial Board was set up. It was the task of the Board to advise the editor and involve indigenous and non-indigenous experts in the project.

The publication is divided into five parts.

The foreword is written by Mr. Ibrahima Fall, Coordinator of the International Decade of Indigenous People and Subsecretary General of the UN Human Rights Centre, the introduction by Mrs. Rigoberta Menchú, Nobel Laureate 1992, and Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen presents an analysis of the growing influence of the indigenous movement in Latin America;

Chapter I discusses the programmes and projects of international organisations regarding indigenous peoples: (a) international intergovernmental organisations related to the UN system (b) regional governmental organisations ( c) the European Union as a supranational organisation and (d) regional parliaments.

Chapter II lists European and Northern American government agencies and aims to explains their policies, projects and funding possibilities related indigenous peoples;

Chapter III is a repertoire of NGOs and other non-governmental funding agencies and defines their programmes with indigenous peoples as well as their capacity and procedures for funding;

The annex contains a record of indigenous peoples and indigenous organisations in Latin America.

It is importance that the book is made available, free of charge, to indigenous organisations. It contains a lot of useful information on the rights of indigenous peoples and the policies and funds of international, governmental and non-governmental agencies. Many key people have contributed to the book, explaining how indigenous organisations can influence international standard setting and how they can apply for funding. The book is being printed by the National Commission for Human Rights, under the auspices of Prof. Rodolfo Stavenhagen of the Colegio de Mexico and will come out August 1997.

The indigenous population in Latin America remains amongst the poorest and most marginalised. Supporting indigenous peoples' quest for reliable information on policies and funds that affect them, will improve their access to resources and their influence on policy making and contribute to strengthening civil society.

The impact of the publication depends entirely on the degree to which it reaches indigenous organisations. The WWF has offered to contribute to sponsoring free distribution of the manual amongst indigenous organisations.

6 August 1997