Indigenous Rights and United Nations Standards

Indigenous Health and Human Rights: A Reflection on Law and Culture
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It made way for Indigenous Peoples who seek a multiplicity of new relationships with UN member states within whose boundaries our territories and nations have been divided and subsumed. The declaration reinvigorates the themes of self-determination, decolonization and anti-discrimination that are the foundations of the United Nations. In its preamble, the declaration refutes the doctrines of racial superiority that have been used to justify the dispossession of Indigenous peoples around the world.

In its provisions, the declaration calls for concrete remedies for the harms that have resulted from this dispossession. For more than 10 years, I have been attending various international meetings such as the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that support the ongoing work of implementing the declaration. I am also working with Indigenous academics and other partners around the world to share knowledge and experience about the growing body of implementation measures at the national and regional levels.

While the era of UN declaration implementation is well underway, enormous work remains to be done. This is as true of Canada as it is of the rest of the world. The declaration calls for redress and rights protection through a wide range of specific provisions on matters such as Indigenous languages, cultural property, sacred sites, traditional medicines, environmental protection and the rights of children and families.

These measures are key to meaningful implementation by the federal government. The story of Bill C is bittersweet, however. The House of Commons adopted the law, which was further supported by a unanimous motion in the House. These facts give some hope of seeing the legislative framework adopted in the future. In the end, however, the opportunity to pass the legislation in the current session of Parliament was lost because the bill was stalled by Senate filibustering. This highlights the considerable remaining resistance, much of it partisan, to the concrete implementation of the declaration.

For this to change, more people must take the time to learn about the declaration. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Stephen Allen Brunel University Search for more papers by this author. Read the full text. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - KAIROS Canada

Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Volume 71 , Issue 2 March Pages See also Yakye Axa v.

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The concept of rights… is the marker of our citizenship, our relation to others [ ] p. As many interventions on indigenous lands also involve constructive removal from the land — as opposed to relocation via a formal process — Article 10 is also relevant, requiring that no relocation shall take place without free, prior and informed consent. In conjunction with indigenous peoples, States shall take effective measures to recognize and protect the exercise of these rights. Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such,. The judgment also favourably clarifies or advances jurisprudence in some respects. We have a course for that!

Paraguay , above n. Rio Negro Massacres v.

Sarayaku , above n. In particular, it directly read Article 18 of the UNDRIP into its interpretation of Article 23, collectivising the right as it applies to indigenous peoples in the process.

This was applied in relation to the exploitation of resources and conservation of the environment via nature reserves. Suriname , above n. Guatemala , above n. The same is also the case, inter alia, in the jurisprudence of the Human Rights Committee. Nonetheless, the Court and other authorities have recognised that majorities cannot simply override the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, even if they do so via legislation that enjoys widespread public support.

For example, in Gelman v.

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There is also recognition of the majoritarian biases inherent in the public interest doctrine. Peru , above n. In Saramaka and progeny, x See e.

The birth of the declaration

Honduras , above n. Other provisions are also directly implicated e. As many interventions on indigenous lands also involve constructive removal from the land — as opposed to relocation via a formal process — Article 10 is also relevant, requiring that no relocation shall take place without free, prior and informed consent.

Indigenous individuals have the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, liberty and security of person. Unfortunately, no further explanation was provided about this premise or the interplay between the collective and individual dimensions of the right. There is therefore a complex of interdependent human rights x See H. See also e.

  1. United Nations - Indigenous Peoples: legal resources - Oxford LibGuides at Oxford University.
  2. Refuting the doctrines of racial superiority.
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Bowman and A. Boyle eds. This even extends to the core residential areas of their villages, which have been issued to and fenced-off by third parties for use as vacation homes!

UN policies on indigenous peoples

See also Sarayaku , above n. It could have plausibly done so in relation to the bauxite mining alone based on its factual findings. The Court, for example, could have concluded that the activity or activities did not rise to the requisite level e. This is all the more disturbing given the hotly contested nature of many of these issues.

Patrick Macklem has correctly observed in this regard that the more specific the descriptions international law offers of what changes are needed in domestic law, the more the intervention translates relatively abstract international human and indigenous rights into concrete legal entitlements cognizable to the domestic legal order in question in a programmatic way….

What is UNDRIP?

Cambridge Core - UN and International Organisations - Indigenous Rights and United Nations Standards - by Alexandra Xanthaki. Indigenous Rights and United Nations Standards: Self-Determination, Culture and Land (Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law) [Alexandra .

The contemporary indigenous rights framework has come into being via three main processes, all within the context of highly effective advocacy by indigenous peoples at the international and, in some cases, domestic level. First, the interpretation of existing international human rights norms in a way that is more responsive to indigenous characteristics and needs. Second, the promulgation of specific international instruments, wholly or partially, addressing indigenous rights, and within different fields of international law; and third, litigation before international courts and quasi-judicial bodies.

Carpenter and A. Its judgments have incorporated, inter alia, important elements of self-determination, including as inter related with issues of legal personality and rights to collective territory; some attributes of the right to self-government via recognition of the right to control territory and respect for indigenous institutions and juridical and other procedures; effective participation in external decision-making, including, in principle at least, consent itself an attribute of self-determination ; and ground-breaking collective reparations, including detailed norms on restitution of lands, that strive to be highly attuned to indigenous realities and concerns.

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Price, above n. See also B. It is important to note that, although the CBD purports to guarantee some indigenous rights, there is no corresponding enforcement mechanism.