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Contract awarded: Survey of Indigenous
and Human Rights Instruments

The Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling (ASW) Committee of the IWC has awarded a key contract to conduct a survey of international indigenous and human rights instruments. 

Regulation of Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling is a key responsibility of the IWC and work has been ongoing for some years to improve the Commission's management of this unique type of whaling which is conducted not for profit or to maximise catches but in order to meet nutritional and cultural needs.

In 2018, the Commission endorsed  a series of proposals designed to facilitate a more straightforward process when catch limits are considered.  These included a new timetable for sharing information to maximise discussion time and transparency, a process through which status quo catch limits could be renewed automatically, and a commitment to establish closer ties with international and inter-governmental organisations focusing on indigenous rights.  A survey of Indigenous and Human Rights Instruments is the next step in delivering on this third proposal.

The contract has been awarded to Jessica Lefevre and Dr Nikolas Sellheim and work has already started. The two-person team will collect information regarding international indigenous peoples’ and human rights instruments. They will also look at other relevant agreements, practices and policy developments in relation to indigenous peoples’ management of natural resources and participation in decision making processes, including within ASW.  Their findings will be reviewed by IWC stakeholders including ASW governments and participants of previous expert workshops which developed the Survey proposal. Their report will then be presented at IWC69.

Read more about Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling