Uilta-Language Translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Presented in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

13 September 2012, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. presented a translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into the Uilta Language to the public today.

The translation was done by Elena Bibikova and Irina Fedyayeva, who were among the authors of the Uilta ABC Primer, the first book ever published in that language, with financial support from Sakhalin Energy.

“Respect and support for human rights is an integral part of responsible business conduct”, noted Andrei Galaev, Chief Executive Officer of Sakhalin Energy. “Protecting the rights of the most vulnerable social groups, such as indigenous peoples, requires a special focus. Preserving their cultural and linguistic identity is among the top priorities within the framework of protecting the global ethnic and cultural diversity. We hope that the publication of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will help the Uilta people, the smallest ethnic minority on Sakhalin, to preserve their language and culture.”

Mr. Ryszard Komenda, Senior Human Rights Adviser to the UN Country Team in the Russian Federation (representing Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights), also highlighted the significant role the business community plays in the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples and thanked Sakhalin Energy for its special efforts in this area. Mr. Komenda emphasized the need to promote wider awareness among indigenous peoples with regard to their traditional views of land, its natural resources and the environment, and to assist in the preservation of their languages, cultures and traditional lifestyles. Translating UN fundamental documents into the languages of indigenous minorities will undoubtedly help in fulfilling this objective.

The presentation was attended by representatives of regional government authorities, Sakhalin indigenous peoples, international organizations and nonprofits.

Information for Editors

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 and was the first document asserting the need to protect the rights of human beings.

The Declaration is the world’s most translated document. The Uilta translation is the most recent, 385th addition to the list of official translations of the Declaration. In addition to the six official languages of the United nation – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish – the document has been translated into a multitude of other languages. In Spring 2012, its Nivkh language translation, which was also done with financial support from Sakhalin Energy, was presented to the public.

Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. (“Sakhalin Energy”) is the operator of Sakhalin-2, one of the world’s largest integrated projects, which has developed major infrastructure for hydrocarbon production, transportation and processing. The Company is exporting crude oil produced in the Sea of Okhotsk and LNG produced at Russia’s first LNG plant built by Sakhalin Energy in the south of Sakhalin. The Company’s shareholders are Gazprom (50% + 1 share), Royal Dutch Shell (27.5% - 1 share), Mitsui and Co. Ltd. (12.5%) and Mitsubishi Corporation (10%).

Sakhalin Energy is a leader in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Social and environmental programmes of the Company have been recognised by leading international and Russian experts.
In 2009, Sakhalin Energy joined the UN Global Compact, a strategic initiative to promote responsible civil practice and corporate responsibility of business. The Company is a member of the UN Global Compact Human Rights Working Group.

In 2011, Sakhalin Energy became and still remains the only Russian company chosen by the United Nations to join the new platform for Corporate Sustainability Leadership - Global Compact LEAD - established by the UN Global Compact to implement a range of higher-level actions in environmental, social and governance, as well as to set new CSR standards. Today’s Global Compact LEAD is a group of 56 companies from 24 countries, including the UK, Germany, Canada, China and the United States.

Sakhalin Energy CEO Andrei Galaev is the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the UN Global Compact Network Russia. In April 2012, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Andrei Galaev a member of the United Nations Global Compact Board.

More information is available at the Sakhalin Energy website

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is involved in protection and promotion of human rights worldwide. OHCHR is focused on ensuring compliance with the internationally recognized principles governing human rights. To this end, OHCHR assists in ratification and implementation of international human rights treaties worldwide and promotes respect for the law. Among the OHCHR aims is removing obstacles to complete observance of human rights and prevention of human rights violations.

As the principal United Nations office mandated to promote and protect human rights for all, OHCHR leads global human rights efforts and embodies the global community's aspiration to attain universal ideals in the field of human rights. OHCHR exposes human rights violations regardless of where those occur and speaks out objectively in the face of such violations. The Office is a forum for identifying and developing responses to today's human rights challenges. OHCHR acts as the principal focal point of human rights research, education, public information and advocacy activities, while strengthening and mainstreaming human rights across the United Nations system.

OHCHR also supports the work of the United Nations human rights mechanisms, such as the Human Rights Council and the core treaty bodies set up for monitoring State Parties' compliance with international human rights treaties, and also promotes the right to development, coordinates United Nations human rights education and public information activities, and strengthens human rights across the United Nations system. OHCHR works to ensure the enforcement of universally recognized human rights norms, including through promoting both the universal ratification and implementation of the major human rights treaties and respect for the rule of law.

For further details, please refer to the official OHCHR website:

Yelena Alexeyevna Bibikova was born in 1940 in Goryachiye Klyuchi (alternatively named Bauri), a traditional Uilta camping ground. She has a university degree in language teaching. Ms. Bibikova co-authored the first book (an ABC Primer) in the Uilta language.

Irina Yakovlevna Fedyayeva was born in 1940 in the village of Val to an Uilta family. She co-authored the Orok-Russian and Russian-Orok dictionary and the first book (an ABC Primer) in the Uilta language.

The Uilta people (also known as the Oroks or Orochons) are among Russia’s smallest ethnic minorities, indigenous inhabitants of Sakhalin Island. According to the 2012 census, their total number is 295 people. Their self-designation endonym is Uilta or Uil’ta (“the reindeer people”, from the root Ula “reindeer”.) Their traditional occupations include hunting, fishing and reindeer herding.

The Uilta language is designated by UNESCO as an endangered language. There are only between thirty and forty people left capable of communicating in this language. Before the beginning of the 21st century, this language had no writing system.