Professor Anaya Named to United Nations Post
International lawyer and scholar S. James Anaya has been appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, a position in which he will assess the condition of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples worldwide. The United Nations Human Rights Council confirmed Professor Anaya’s selection on March 27, 2008, acknowledging his long history of legal work on behalf of indigenous communities. Professor Anaya is only the second person to be named to the post.
As Special Rapporteur, Professor Anaya will conduct thematic research on issues relevant to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples; visit countries to observe and hear about the challenges faced by indigenous peoples; and communicate with governments when human rights violations are alleged. He will continue to teach at Arizona Law while carrying out his duties as Special Rapporteur.
Professor Anaya holds the James L. Lenoir Professorship in Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, where he has taught since 1999. He was instrumental in establishing the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program (IPLP) and continues to instruct many of the program’s courses, including constitutional law and international human rights advocacy. A Harvard Law School graduate (1983), he is considered one of the world’s top scholars in the field of international human rights, with a special emphasis on indigenous peoples. His advocacy work on behalf of indigenous communities has garnered worldwide attention as well, most recently in a successful action on behalf of the Maya communities of Belize before that country’s high court. Anaya has an extensive list of publications, many of which are considered the seminal writings in the field. A complete list of his works is available at: www.law.arizona.edu.
“Professor Anaya has been recognized as one of the world’s leading human rights advocates and legal scholars for many years,” notes IPLP Program Director Robert A. Williams Jr., “and this new honor will create wonderful new opportunities for advancing indigenous peoples human rights and for the students who come here to learn from him.”
Further information about the IPLP program is available at www.law.arizona.edu/depts/iplp/. Details on the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council is available at www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/ .