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The OAS - The Organisation of American States

The Organisation of American States (OAS) is composed of all of the states of the Americas and the Caribbean (Cuba's membership has been suspended). Its main offices are in San José, Costa Rica and in Washington D.C. It also maintains country offices in most of the capital cities of the Americas.

Draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Organization of American States, OAS, is currently in the process of revising the text of its Draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The OAS Draft Declaration is one of the most important processes currently underway with regard to indigenous rights in the Americas.

In some countries, the OAS instrument can rightly be described as a substantial and wide-reaching improvement on the existing rights found in national legislation. As such, the Draft Declaration deserves the attention of indigenous peoples and organizations, and other interested parties.

For more information, visit the section on indigenous peoples on the OAS' website

The OAS is governed by the 1948 Charter of the Organization of American States, a multilateral treaty that acts as its Constitution. Article 3(d) and 3(j) of the Charter provide, respectively, that "The solidarity of American States and the high aims which are sought through it require the political organization of those States on the basis of the effective exercise of representative democracy" and, "The American States proclaim the fundamental rights of the individual without distinction as to race, nationality, creed, or sex."

More information

  • Visit the OAS website
  • For more information about how the Inter-American human rights system works you can download IWGIA's publication "A Guide to Indigenous Peoples' Rigths in the Inter-American Human Rights System" on your right side.