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Abstract

The article presents the authors’ ideas concerning the legal nature of land rights of indigenous small-numbered peoples in Russia. It should be noted that land rights of indigenous small-numbered peoples are part of their special constitutional legal personality, an essential element of their legal status. On the basis of international acts on the rights of indigenous peoples, the opportunity to give indigenous small-numbered peoples of Russia their traditional land to use on the grounds of ownership is assessed as non-promising. The article scrutinises the system of land rights of indigenous small-numbered peoples that is established in Russia. The authors point to the imperfection of the legislation in this area, which may lead to violation of the rights of indigenous small-numbered peoples. It should be noted that one of the most important state guarantees is the right of indigenous small-numbered peoples to free and indefinite use of lands.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: Yinka Olomojobi

Abstract

There has been recent agitation for self-determination in the south-east of Nigeria for the state known as Biafra (a pro-secessionist group). The principle of self-determination is a well-debated discourse since it connects with the right to secede and create a sovereign state. Like a marriage at gunpoint, a reluctant partner will always want a way out of the marriage, and will take a hike at the first opportunity. Given this political inheritance, Nigeria has fallen prey to several attempts to undermine state sovereignty originating in ethnic and regional differences. The controversy has concerned both the principle’s status in international law and its charter. This principle has played a prominent part in the emergence of former colonies as independent states. The aim of this article is to explore the ongoing agitation for a Biafran Republic and to assess whether it is in conformity with the right to self-determination.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

Taking Nepal as a case, this article argues that the meaning of the right to self-determination, in international norms in particular, has expanded from a right to secession to a right to inclusion, but this expansion has not abated the fear of secession on the ground. Nepal understands the ‘right to self-determination’ only as a right to form a new state, and refrains from including this right as a provision in the new Constitution. The three variables – socialisation of the right to self-determination as a norm permitting secession, contrast between formal and informal positions of indigenous leaders, and mainstream bias against the indigenous nationalities – are contributing to state’s reluctance to accommodate this right.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

As a country with multiple ethnicities, religions, and cultures, Indonesia has been suffering from protracted waves of inter-ethnic conflicts among its peoples. This research uses Critical Discourse Analysis (cda) to survey an array of mass and social media outlets, existing policies, and statistics to describe and interpret inter-ethnic relations between Tionghoa (Chinese Indonesians) and Javanese Pribumi (indigenous Indonesian Muslims). It adopts the Weberian three-factor social stratification model to group these relations under three main headings: class, status, and party. The analysis of this research is also enriched by using Geert Hofstede’s cultural-dimension theory. This research shows that Indonesia is socially stratified along Tionghoa-Pribumi lines. Importantly, the analysis also exposes that this stratification is not primarily due to economic inequalities as commonly assumed, but rather the result of deep religious and cultural incompatibilities and inadequate policies. Ultimately, Indonesia’s social stratification exacerbates the existing social inequality and perpetuates antagonistic Tionghoa-Pribumi relations.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: Shea Esterling

Abstract

Two of the most laudable achievements of human rights are the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (udhr) and the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (undrip). Aside from advancing human rights, both are examples of soft law. For the undrip, this soft law status has generated significant controversy which is evocative of the earlier debate surrounding the legal status of the udhr. Yet unexamined, this article analyses this contemporary controversy surrounding the undrip in light of the historical debate surrounding the legal status of the udhr. Fleshing out points of convergence and divergence, these debates unearth narratives which shed light on the claims and advocacy strategies of Indigenous Peoples and the role of customary international law within human rights. Ultimately, it reveals that these narratives do little to secure the enforcement of indigenous rights.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: Bhimraj M

Abstract

The reconceptualisation of caste discrimination as racial discrimination through the term ‘descent’ in Article 1 of icerd enabled the international community to take cognisance of caste discrimination, which it had ignored for a long time. However, the government of India, opposing such reconceptualisation, maintains that ‘descent’ in icerd refers only to race and not caste, contrary to the position of UN human rights bodies. Hence, whether ‘descent’ includes ‘caste’ is an important hermeneutical question addressed in this article. Based on the distinction between interpretation and application of a treaty, this article argues that India has accepted the application of icerd to caste discrimination through its conduct and it cannot deny it now according to the principle of estoppel. This article then demonstrates the dynamic interpretation of ‘descent’, justifying it through the consensus analysis methodology of the ECtHR. Moreover, it is found that ‘descent’ was associated with ‘caste’ in British India.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

The Rohingya community in Myanmar has been the subject of persecution and violent attacks that have forced them to flee the country and to take refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh several times in history. The latest wave of conflict-led displacement in August 2017 forced nearly a million Rohingya ethnic minorities to take refuge in Bangladesh. However, this time, a small number of Hindu Rohingya refugees also arrived in the refugee camps of Bangladesh. As they are small in number and considered insignificant by the international community, the attention on them has long been minimal. This study constitutes an exploratory research endeavour using qualitative research methodologies. It aims to reveal the main reasons behind their exodus, migration journey and refugee life in Bangladesh.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights