International Law and Indigenous Peoples


This volume, a collection of essays by a variety of scholars in the field of indigenous rights, originates from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland in Galway. It highlights those instances in the work of international organizations where advances have been made concerning indigenous rights. It also devotes attention to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and to a number of thematic issues in the field. The human rights situations facing indigenous peoples in Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria and South Africa are dealt with in separate chapters. These surveys show a range of reactions to the multiple problems of discrimination, or lack of proper responses, as far as domestic legislation, national implementation of the laws, and national compliance with the applicable international standards are concerned.

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Tables of Treaties, Cases and Communications; Affiliation of Contributors; Introduction by Gudmundur Alfredsson; Part I Human Rights Instruments & Indigenous Peoples Martin Scheinin Indigenous Peoples’ Rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Patrick Thornberry The Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Indigenous Peoples and Caste/Descent-Based Discrimination; Lee Swepston Indigenous Peoples in International Law and Organizations; Les Malezer Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: ‘Welcome to the Family of the UN’; Part II Specific Issues Affecting Indigenous Peoples Joshua Castellino The ‘Right’ to Land, International Law & Indigenous Peoples; William A. Schabas Cultural Genocide and the Protection of the Right of Existence of Aboriginal and Indigenous Groups; Mark Harris ‘. . . another box of tjuringas under the bed’: The Appropriation of Aboriginal Cultural Property to Benefit Non-Indigenous Interests; Part III Indigenous Peoples in Domestic Jurisdictions; Australia Steve Kinnane Indigenous Sustainability: Rights, Obligations, and a CollectiveCommitment to Country; Canada Alexis P. Kontos Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada: Reconciling Rights to Political Participation and Indigenous Cultural Integrity; Mexico Alejandro Anaya-Muñoz Multicultural Legislation and Indigenous Autonomy in Oaxaca, Mexico; Nicaragua Christina Binder The Case of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua: The Awas Tingni Case, or Realizing that a Good Legal System of Protection of Land Rights Is No Guarantee of Effective Implementation; India Jérémine Gilbert The Blur of a Distinction: Adivasis Experience with Land Rights, Self-Rule and Autonomy; Bangladesh Faustina Pereira The Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord and the Long Road to Peace: A Case Study; Nigeria Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua Self-Determination v. State Sovereignty: A Critique of the African Commission’s Decision in the Ogoni Case; South Africa Vinodh Jaichand Self-Determination and Minority Rights in South Africa; Kenya Albert K. Barume Indigenous Battling for Land Rights: The Case of the Ogiek of Kenya; Part IV Conclusion; Joshua Castellino and Niamh Walsh Conclusion.