United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

On 13 September, the UN passed its Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

While the term “indigenous” is not defined, its 46 articles affirm the right to self-determination including the pursuits of economic, social and cultural development (Article 3). Other rights include:

  • Maintaining distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions while participating in those of the state (Article 5),
  • Not being forcibly assimilated (Article 8),
  • Revitalizing and developing their language and educate in their language (Articles 13-14),
  • Redress for past injustices (Article 28),
  • Access across international borders (Article 36), and
  • Financial and technical assistance from the state to achieve these rights (Article 39)

With Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States voting against, and 11 countries abstaining, the Declaration passed with 144 countries in favor.

Analysis at the Jurist: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Towards Re-empowerment by law professors S. James Anaya and Siegfried Wiessner.

This post prompted by an entry on the Declaration at Turtle Talk.

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