Indigenous Rights and the case of Roas Al-Jabal

articls 6:49 AM human rights

The rights of minorities and indigenous peoples include the contract, treaties and agreements between official States and indigenous peoples on matters of international concern, interest, responsibilities and character which contain justice, democracy, human rights, non-discrimination and good faith. However, the indigenous people of Roas Al-Jabal (Musandam) have been suffering from reaching their fundamental rights since the occupation of their country in 1970. Not only UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is offering rights and responsibilities to indigenous, but the Charter of the United Nations, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action are offering rights and responsibilities to indigenous people. According to Article 1 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ‘’ Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognised in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law’’. Article 2 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples also added that ‘’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’’. However, the people in Roas Al-Jabal have been suffering from receiving equal social life such as jobs and other ordinary life, suffering from poor economy, facing the demographic change and facing land confiscation by the Omani authorities. In addition, Article 4 of the UN Declaration on self-determination pointed out that ‘’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’’. Moreover, article 5 added that ‘’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’’. At the same time, the right to self-determination is entitling the right which people choose their political future, whether to live in the current situation with more freedom or separation on the base of ethnic differences, ideology differences, historical, cultural or identity differences. The United Nations and the International human rights organisations are both recognised the right of self-determination for all people in the world, which the General Assembly in 2007 also mentioned the right of self-determination for indigenous people. But the residents of Roas Al-Jabal lost their national sovereignty because of the occupation, for instance, Sheikhdom authorities were closed down by Omani authorities’ through the coordination between the British forces in the Arabian Gulf and Omani forces. Article 14 of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Peoples also stated that ‘’Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning’’. However, people in Roas Al-Jabal deprived of studying their history, culture and geography issue. People in Roas Al-Jabal (Mussandam) are not allowed to wear their traditional clothes in the public and official places. In fact, people in Roas Al-Jabal have been facing these violations of human rights since 1970, but the pressure against people has recently increased.

International obligations on Oman

• Oman should respect the rights of people in Roas Al-Jabal • The Omani authorities should respect the rights of free political movement in Roas Al-Jabal • The Omani authorities must give the opportunity to people in Roas Al-Jabal

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