Dr. Jesse Hohman has posted “The UNDRIP and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Existence, Cultural Integrity and Identity, and Non-Assimilation” on SSRN. It is forthcoming in Oxford Commentaries on International Law – A Commentary on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Here is the abstract:
The importance of international legal provisions protecting the right to indigenous survival, both individually and collectively, can only be understood in light of the fact that to date, legal standards have not protected indigenous peoples from much of the violence perpetrated against them. Rather, international and domestic laws have often served as instruments to perpetrate cultural and personal extinction and assimilation. From the earliest encounters between Westphalian international law and indigenous peoples, international law operated so as to bring indigenous peoples within its reach, yet deny them the benefits of its protection.
This chapter of a forthcoming Oxford Commentary, considers the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), specifically Articles 7(2); 8 & 43. The paper maps out how these provisions relate to the existing legal landscape of indigenous rights, and assesses what they have added to that landscape.
The specific issues raised by these provisions are the issue of collective rights; the relationship between cultural and individual assimilation; the prohibition of genocide; the legal status of the concept of ethnocide or cultural genocide; the question of legal duties to prevent harms and violence against indigenous peoples and communities; and the concept of minimum standard rights in the context of indigenous peoples’ dignity and well-being.
These provisions of the UNDRIP are, accordingly, some of the most central, if under-examined, of the Declaration.