The Mauritius Dharma Declaration
We proclaim and affirm our acceptance of the unity of life and the relationship of all beings as divine and the Dharmic way of life as the way to tranquillity of the individual, family, community and world. The Dharma Shastras of Sanatan Dharma recognise that divinity resides in the Hridayam (Heart) of all peoples and that this divinity is the same ParamAtma in all. As members of the oldest thriving continuous indigenous civilisation, a civilisation whose scriptures have for thousands of years enshrined the highest principles of human rights and ecological rights, our communities accept responsibility to act according to the scriptures and to actively remind other members of our communities, and of other communities of this scriptural wisdom
- We assert that our Dharmic traditions rest upon the protection of freedoms to think without constraint and engage in respectful free speech as given in many of our Shastras and also in international instruments [Articles 18 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights]
- We assert that Conversion is an act of adharma, of violence and is destructive of family, community and civilisational cohesion and is diametrically opposed to the identity specific rights of indigenous civilisations as enshrined in the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP Articles 8.2, 11.2 and others).
- We assert that the principle of conversion assumes superiority of one religious belief system over indigenous spiritual traditions, an assumption which is based solely upon supremacist prejudices. This assumption of superiority is specifically rejected in the UNDRIP “Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust”
- We assert that the doctrine of conversion perpetuates the tenets of colonialism, i.e. the destruction of indigenous identities and the acquisition of indigenous assets, human, tangible and intangible. As such it is contrary to the word, spirit and intention of the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- We assert that Hindus as a civilisation and people will no longer accept being treated as a subject of hostile and prejudiced “academic” scrutiny and the exploitation of our intellectual resources, an activity and orientation which is firmly based upon colonial prejudices and which is destructive of the human right to privacy and rights defined in Article 11 of UNDRIP.
- We affirm that our places and methods of worship should be regarded with respect and be places of safety and hospitality, and not made the target of physical or intellectual assault.
- We assert that the taking of life to produce meat for human consumption is an act of violence and is to be avoided unless absolutely necessary. This principle we recognise as a service to the Mother Earth and essential to the well-being of humanity and of all life. As a first consideration, where meat is consumed, we will hold fast to the principle that the sentient being must not be aware at the point of death
- We assert and resolve that in the interests of unity and solidarity, Hindus will not unskilfully and publicly criticise other Hindus and we resolve that in the same interests, we will create platforms and implements of dialogue for exploring differences of opinion within the family of Hindus.
- We assert that all Hindus will proactively work to support other Hindu establishments and groups.
- We will actively build mutual respect by advocating for the safety, freedom and well-being of one another, which includes standing up for the liberties of Hindus of all Sampradayas (lineages) in all locations and we will speak out and be activists wherever we see persecution of Hindus at home or overseas.
- We will help to reduce distance between our Dharmic communities by advocating and facilitating communication, interaction, education and understanding amongst and between the global Hindu communities.
- This Declaration shall be distributed to every Hindu and supporter of Dharma and given prominence by every Dharmic organisation.
This Declaration is made on the 20th day of May 2018, at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture, Phoenix, Mauritius by the delegates of the WHF Mauritius Summit and the Hindu organisations and persons there present.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,
61/295. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly
The General Assembly,
Taking note of the recommendation of the Human Rights Council contained in its resolution 1/2 of 29 June 2006,1 by which the Council adopted the text of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,
Recalling its resolution 61/178 of 20 December 2006, by which it decided to defer consideration of and action on the Declaration to allow time for further consultations thereon, and also decided to conclude its consideration before the end of the sixty-first session of the General Assembly,
Adopts the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as contained in the annex to the present resolution.
107th plenary meeting
13 September 2007
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The General Assembly,
- Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and good faith in the fulfilment of the obligations assumed by States in accordance with the Charter, Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such,
- Affirming also that all peoples contribute to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of humankind,
- Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust,
- Reaffirming that indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind,
- Concerned that indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices as a result of, inter alia, their colonization and dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, thus preventing them from exercising, in particular, their right to development in accordance with their own needs and interests,
- Recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources,
- Recognizing also the urgent need to respect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements with States,
- Welcoming the fact that indigenous peoples are organizing themselves for political, economic, social and cultural enhancement and in order to bring to an end all forms of discrimination and oppression wherever they occur,
- Convinced that control by indigenous peoples over developments affecting them and their lands, territories and resources will enable them to maintain and strengthen their institutions, cultures and traditions, and to promote their development in accordance with their aspirations and needs,
- Recognizing that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment,
- Emphasizing the contribution of the demilitarization of the lands and territories of indigenous peoples to peace, economic and social progress and development, understanding and friendly relations among nations and peoples of the world,
- Recognizing in particular the right of indigenous families and communities to retain shared responsibility for the upbringing, training, education and well-being of their children, consistent with the rights of the child,
- Considering that the rights affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between States and indigenous peoples are, in some situations, matters of international concern, interest, responsibility and character,
- Considering also that treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements, and the relationship they represent, are the basis for a strengthened partnership between indigenous peoples and States,
- Acknowledging that the Charter of the United Nations, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights2 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,2 as well as the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,3 affirm the fundamental importance of the right to self-determination of all peoples, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development,
- Bearing in mind that nothing in this Declaration may be used to deny any peoples their right to self-determination, exercised in conformity with international law,
- Convinced that the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples in this Declaration will enhance harmonious and cooperative relations between the State and indigenous peoples, based on principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, non-discrimination and good faith,
- Encouraging States to comply with and effectively implement all their obligations as they apply to indigenous peoples under international instruments, in particular those related to human rights, in consultation and cooperation with the peoples concerned,
- Emphasizing that the United Nations has an important and continuing role to play in promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples,
- Believing that this Declaration is a further important step forward for the recognition, promotion and protection of the rights and freedoms of indigenous peoples and in the development of relevant activities of the United Nations system in this field,
- Recognizing and reaffirming that indigenous individuals are entitled without discrimination to all human rights recognized in international law, and that indigenous peoples possess collective rights which are indispensable for their existence, well-being and integral development as peoples,
- Recognizing that the situation of indigenous peoples varies from region to region and from country to country and that the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical and cultural backgrounds should be taken into consideration,
- Solemnly proclaims the following United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a standard of achievement to be pursued in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect:
Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights4 and international human rights law.
Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.
Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.
Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.
Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality.
- 1. Indigenous individuals have the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, liberty and security of person.
- 2. Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group.
- 1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.
- 2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
(a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;
(b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;
(c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;
(d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration;
(e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination directed against them.
Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to belong to an indigenous community or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned. No discrimination
of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right.
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. Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts
- 2. States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual
property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.
- 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practise, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their human remains.
- 2. States shall seek to enable the access and/or repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains in their possession through fair, transparent and effective mechanisms developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned.