UN Human Rights Committee on Hawaii

Received via email from Kai'opua Fyfe of The Koani Foundation:

Hot off the internet From Geneva (07-28-06):

Excerpt from the Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee

Item 37. . . . Finally, the Committee regrets that it has not received sufficient information on the consequences on the situation of Indigenous Native Hawaiians of Public Law 103-150 apologizing to the Native Hawaiian Peoples for the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, which resulted in the suppression of the inherent sovereignty of the Hawaiian people. (articles 1, 26 and 27 in conjunction with Article 2, paragraph 3 of the Covenant).   

On July 17 & 18, a delegation from the United States of America (approximately 30 people from Justice, State, Homeland Security, Interior and Defense) appeared before the Human Rights Committee in Geneva to answer questions related to the second and third periodic reports which the U.S.A. filed in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

As a result of effective influence exerted during the previous week of the Committees 87th Session, based on the submission of The Special Situation of Hawaii A Shadow Report to the Human Rights Committee on the Violation of Human Rights of Native Hawaiians in the Hawaiian Archipelago last March, and thanks to the genuine interest of particular Committee Members, two questions relating to Hawai`i were posed to the U.S.A. delegation on the first day.

Mr. Walter Kalin, Committee Member from Switzerland, asked (paraphrased) . . . in the context of these two articles (1 & 27), I would like to ask a question on Hawaii. I would like to know whether and how the passing of Public Law 103-150 apologizing to the Native Hawaiian peoples for the illegal and violent overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii had any impact or practical consequences on the situation of the indigenous Native Hawaiians, many of whom remain marginalized?

Mr. Michael O’Flaherty, Committee Member from Ireland, asked (paraphrased) . . . regarding the indigenous people of Hawaii mentioned by Mr. Kalin, what steps does the State party (the U.S.A.) intend to take given the failure of the restitution bill, the Akaka bill?

On the second day, Mr. Wan Kim, U.S. Justice, replied (paraphrased) . . . Mr. O’Flaherty’s asked about Hawaii. The US administration opposed the Akaka bill, because it would have divided American people by race. Discrete subgroups with race-based qualifications are impermissible. Finally, the bill would have granted federal tribal recognition to Hawaiians when the US Supreme Court has said they are not a recognized aboriginal group. 

In order to be recognized, they must maintain continuous identities as distinct indigenous groups to institutionalize government to government relationships. While native Hawaiians are indigenous to Hawaii, there are many differences from other indigenous groups, most Hawaiians have not retained a continuous identity as a group permitting an assumption that a tribal leadership speaks for the group.

Mr. Kalin’s question regarding the Public Law 103-150 was not addressed.

To view the full report go to http://www.ohchr.org/english/

At the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Home Page, right side under Meetings & Events, click on 10-28 July Human Rights Committee;

Read across the United States of America row to Concluding Observations and click the blue E to open the Advanced Unedited Version of the Human Rights Committee Concluding observations of the second and third periodic reports of the United States of America per the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Anyone interested in community briefings on this and other UN topics, reply to

Kai`opua Fyfe, Director
The Koani Foundation
PO Box 1878
Lihu`e, Kaua`i 96766
kaiokauai @ aol.com

Update: Here's some related Word attachments...
07-28-06 NGO Compiled_Press_Release[1].doc
07-28-06 US Repsonse to HRC Concluding Observations.doc
07-28-06 Joshua Press Release.doc
Penny Parker US_rept_to_HRC_July2006 (2).doc

Posted: Fri - July 28, 2006 at 10:12 AM    
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Published On: Jul 28, 2006 02:11 PM
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