Indigenous Peoples - Western Shoshone (CERD Shadow Report, 2008)

This submission responds to the United States of America’s periodic report of April 2007. In a decision issued in March 2006 under its early warning and urgent action procedure, the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (“the Committee or CERD”) expressed concern over the United States of America’s (“United States”) treatment of the Western Shoshone and their ancestral lands. Specifically, the Committee found the United States’ “obligation to guarantee the right of everyone to equality before the law” was “not respected” and urged the United States to “pay particular attention to the right to health and cultural rights of the Western Shoshone peoples”. The Committee called on the United States to “take immediate action to initiate a dialogue” with the Western Shoshon and to freeze, desist and stop further harmful activities on Western Shoshone ancestral land until a final decision or settlement is reached. The United States responded to this decision as part of its recent periodic report to the Committee.