Recovering cultural property of indigenous peoples
Synonyms: Restoring cultural artefacts of tribal peoples
Claim: 1. Governments, with the assistance of international organizations, should assist indigenous peoples and communities in recovering control and possession of their movable cultural property and other heritage. 2. In cooperation with indigenous peoples, UNESCO should establish a programme to mediate the recovery of movable cultural property from across international borders, at the request of the traditional owners of the property concerned. 3. Human remains and associated funeral objects must be returned to their descendants and territories in a culturally appropriate manner, as determined by the indigenous peoples concerned. Documentation may be retained, displayed or otherwise used only in such form and manner as may be agreed upon with the peoples concerned. 4. Movable cultural property should be returned wherever possible to its traditional owners, particularly if shown to be of significant cultural, religious or historical value to them. Movable cultural property should only be retained by universities, museums, private institutions or individuals in accordance with the terms of a recorded agreement with the traditional owners for the sharing of the custody and interpretation of the property. 5. Under no circumstances should objects or any other elements of an indigenous people's heritage be publicly displayed, except in a manner deemed appropriate by the peoples concerned. 6. In the case of objects or other elements of heritage which were removed or recorded in the past, the traditional owners of which can no longer be identified precisely, the traditional owners are presumed to be the entire people associated with the territory from which these objects were removed, or where the recordings were made, or the direct descendants of that people. 7. All researchers and scholarly institutions should take immediate steps to provide indigenous peoples and communities with comprehensive inventories of the cultural property, and documentation of indigenous peoples' heritage, which they may have in their custody. 8. Researchers and scholarly institutions should return all elements of indigenous peoples' heritage to the traditional owners upon demand, or obtain formal agreements with the traditional owners for the shared custody, use and interpretation of their heritage. 9. Researchers and scholarly institutions should decline any offers for the donation or sale of elements of indigenous peoples' heritage, unless they have first contacted the peoples or communities directly concerned and ascertaining the wishes of the traditional owners. 10. Researchers and scholarly institutions must refrain from engaging in any study of previously-undescribed species or cultivated varieties of plants, animals or microbes, or naturally-occurring pharmaceuticals, without first obtaining satisfactory documentation that the specimens were acquired with the consent of the traditional owners, if any. 11. Researchers must not publish information obtained from indigenous peoples or the results of research conducted on flora, fauna, microbes or materials discovered through the assistance of indigenous peoples, without identifying the traditional owners and obtaining their consent to publication. 12. Researchers should agree to an immediate moratorium on the Human Genome Diversity Project. Further research on the specific genotypes of indigenous peoples should be suspended unless and until broadly and publicly supported by indigenous peoples to the satisfaction of United Nations human rights organs. 13. Researchers and scholarly institutions should make every possible effort to increase indigenous peoples' access to all forms of medical, scientific and technical education, and participation in all research activities which may affect them or be of benefit to them. 14. Professional associations of scientists, engineers and scholars, in collaboration with indigenous peoples, should sponsor seminars and disseminate publications to promote ethical conduct in conformity with these guidelines and discipline members who act in contravention.
Subjects: PeoplesRacial, ethnic groupsMinority, indigenous groupsProductsCulture
Type Classification: D: Detailed strategies