Property Rights and the Protection of Subsistence in Article 1(2) of the Human Rights Covenants

in International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
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This article explores how property rights have informed the peoples’ right to resources in Article 1(2) of the Human Rights Covenants. It examines practice in the interpretation of Article 1, as well as jurisprudence from the Inter-American and African human rights systems linking peoples’ rights and the right to property. It also highlights the pivotal role of protection of subsistence in making this connection. The right to resources can draw from different forms of property, including private, public, communal and traditional forms. Property rights under Article 1 have also applied to a broad range of communities, including indigenous peoples, subsistence farmers, traditional property owners, ethnic minorities, as well as the general population of a state. The common feature of these communities is their vulnerability in the protection of their means of subsistence, and this has linked property rights with Article 1.