Contours of an Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Water in Latin America under International Law

in International Human Rights Law Review
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This article critically assesses the nature and the content of a possible human right to water for Indigenous People in the Latin American context. On the one hand, after introducing the deliberately unclear definition of Indigenous People, the article considers that a human right to water is embedded in Indigenous Peoples’ customary laws, which, according to legal pluralism, are to be considered as a legitimate source of law. The article then moves to the content of a possible human right to water for Indigenous People in the Latin American context. The importance of the jurisprudence of the Inter American Court of Human Rights is highlighted, and the obligation for States to consult with Indigenous People when dealing with their water resources is hailed as one of the key elements of a human right to water.