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Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Local Communities’ Mobilisation to Regain Control: The Role of Human Rights

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
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Abstract

The article reviews trends in international non-binding standards:

1) the equalisation of indigenous peoples and local communities as rights-holders;

2) the strength and weakness of the safeguards approach in the context of redd+;

3) the wide definition of who constitutes stakeholders; and 4) the scope of a due diligence requirement.

The article identifies and discusses two approaches:

1) mobilisation, understood as political or legal pressure exerted upon endogenous actors by other endogenous actors, and where international human rights serve as the norm basis for this pressure. 2) control, implying that power asymmetries in relation to external actors are challenged by alliances with human rights organisations and environmental organisations. Both benefit from being embedded in human rights principles: dignity, non-discrimination, rule of law, accountability, transparency, participation and empowerment. Human rights might, however, lead to tensions internally, as these principles can conflict with customary and exclusionary decision-making procedures.

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