Section Five: Social, Economic, and Property Rights

Article XXIV. Traditional Forms of Property and Cultural Survival. Right to Land, Territory, and Resources

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition of their property rights and ownership rights with respect to the lands and territories that they historically occupy, as well as the use of the lands to which they have traditionally had access for carrying out their traditional activities and for sustenance, respecting the principles of the legal system of each State. These rights also include the waters, coastal seas, flora, fauna, and all other resources of that habitat, as well as their environment, preserving these for themselves and future generations.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to legal recognition of the various and particular modalities and forms of property, possession, and ownership of their lands and territories, in accordance with the principles of the legal system of each State. The States shall establish the special regimes appropriate for such recognition, and for their effective demarcation or titling.

3. The rights of the indigenous peoples to their lands and territories they occupy or use historically are permanent, exclusive, inalienable, imprescriptible, and indefeasible.

4. The titles may only be modified by mutual agreement between the State and the respective indigenous peoples, with full knowledge and understanding by their members with respect to the nature and attributes of that property and of the proposed modification. The agreement by the indigenous people concerned shall be given following its practices, usages and customs.

5. Indigenous peoples have the right to attribute ownership within the community in accordance with the values, usages, and customs of each peoples.

6. The States shall take adequate measures to avert, prevent, and punish any intrusion or use of such lands, territories, or resources by persons from outside to claim for themselves the property, possession, or right to use the same.

7. In case the property rights over the minerals or resources of the subsoil belong to the State, or it has rights over other resources existing in the lands and territories of the indigenous peoples, the States shall establish or maintain procedures for the participation of the peoples concerned for determining whether the interests of those peoples would be prejudiced and to what extent, before undertaking or authorizing any program involving prospecting, planning, or exploitation of the resources existing on their lands and territories. The peoples concerned shall participate in the benefits of such activities, and receive fair compensation for any harm they might suffer as a result of such activities.

8. The States shall provide, within their legal systems, a legal framework and effective legal remedies to protect the rights of the indigenous peoples referred to in this article.

Article XXV. On Transfers and Relocations

1. The States may not transfer or relocate indigenous peoples without their free, genuine, public, and informed consent, unless there are causes involving a national emergency or other exceptional circumstance of public interest that makes it necessary; and, in all cases, with the immediate replacement by adequate lands of equal or better quality and legal status, guaranteeing the right to return if the causes that gave rise to the displacement cease to exist.

2. Compensation shall be paid to the indigenous peoples and to their members who are transferred or relocated for any loss or harm they may have suffered as a result of their displacement.

Article XXVI. Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation

1. Indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation have the right to remain in that condition and to live freely and in accordance with their ancestral traditions.

2. The States shall adopt adequate measures to protect the territories, environment, and cultures of the indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation, as well as the personal integrity of their members. These measures shall include those necessary to prevent intrusion into their territories.

Article XXVII. Labor Rights

1. Indigenous peoples and persons enjoy the rights and guarantees recognized in labor legislation and have the right to special measures to correct, repair, and prevent the discrimination to which they are subjected.

The States shall adopt immediate and effective measures to guarantee that indigenous children are protected from all forms of labor exploitation.

2. In case they are not protected effectively by the legislation applicable to workers in general, the States shall take the special and immediate measures that may be necessary in order to:

a) protect workers and employees who are members of indigenous peoples in relation to contracting, and to obtain fair and equal conditions of employment, in both formal and informal labor arrangements;

b) establish and improve the labor inspection service and the enforcement of rules in the regions, companies, or salaried labor activities in which indigenous workers or employees participate;

c) guarantee that indigenous workers:

i. enjoy equal opportunities and treatment in all employment conditions, in promotions and raises; and other conditions stipulated in international law;

ii. enjoy the right to association, the right to engage freely in trade union activities, and the right to enter into collective bargaining agreements with employers or workers’ organizations, directly or through their traditional authorities;

iii. are not submitted to racial, sexual, or any other type of harassment;

iv. are not subject to coercive hiring systems, including debt servitude or any other type of servitude, whether they arise from law, custom, or an individual or collective arrangement, which in each case shall be deemed absolutely null and void;

v. are not subject to work that endangers their health and personal safety; and

vi. receive special protection when they provide their services as seasonal, occasional, or migrant workers, as well as when they are contracted by labor contractors such that they receive the benefits of the national legislation and practices, which shall be in accordance with the international human rights standards established for this category of workers; and

vii. ensure that the employers of indigenous workers are fully aware of the rights of indigenous workers according to the national legislation and international standards, and of the remedies and actions available to them to protect those rights.

Article XXVIII. Protection of Cultural Patrimony and Intellectual Property

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition of the property, control, development, and protection of their cultural patrimony through special regimes that recognizes the communal nature of said property. Such regimes shall be established with their informed consent and participation.

2. Indigenous peoples also have the right to the legal protection of that property through patents, commercial trademarks, copyright, and other general procedures of intellectual property.

3. The patrimony of indigenous peoples includes, inter alia, the knowledge, ancestral designs and procedures, artistic, spiritual, technological, scientific, and biogenetic expressions, as well as the knowledge and developments of their own related to the utility and qualities of medicinal plants.

Article XXIX. Right to Development

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and implement autonomously the values, options, objectives, priorities, and strategies for their development. This right includes participation in determining and developing health and housing programs, and other economic and social programs that affect them, and, when possible, in administering these programs through their own institutions. The indigenous peoples have the right, without any discrimination whatsoever, to obtain adequate means for their own development, including those from international cooperation, and to contribute in their own ways to national development.

2. The States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that the decisions referring to any plan, program, or project subject to directly affecting the rights or living conditions of the indigenous peoples are made in consultation with those peoples so that their preferences may be recognized, and so that no provision whatsoever is included that impact them directly. Such consultations shall be carried out in good faith and in a manner appropriate to the circumstances, for the purpose of reaching an agreement or securing consent to the measures proposed.

3. Indigenous peoples have the right to fair and equitable compensation for any damage caused to them by the implementation of such plans, programs, or projects, despite the precautions established in this article; and for measures to be adopted to mitigate adverse ecological, economic, social, cultural, or spiritual impacts.

Article XXX. Protection in the Event of Armed Conflicts

In the event of armed conflicts, the States shall take special measures, with the agreement of the indigenous peoples concerned, to protect the human rights, institutions, lands, territories, and resources of the indigenous peoples.

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