The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Human Rights Framework for Intellectual Property Rights
M. Rimmer (ed.) A Research Handbook on Indigenous Intellectual Property, Edward Elgar (2014), Forthcoming
16 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2014 Last revised: 2 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 17, 2014
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Declaration) establishes, in Article 31, that indigenous peoples ‘have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.’ In light of the centrality of the Declaration in the realm of indigenous rights, Article 31 represents the reference point for any credible discussion of the interlink between the cultural and intellectual property rights of indigenous peoples. This chapter seeks to contextualize this important provision within the normative framework of the Declaration. The first part of the chapter will examine the legal and political significance of the Declaration, discussing the circumstances surrounding its drafting and adoption as well as its normative content. The second part of the chapter will focus on the key provisions of the Declaration that are closely connected with indigenous peoples’ intellectual property rights, including those on self-determination and land rights. Special attention will be paid to the content of Article 31 of the Declaration, highlighting the progressive character of this provision in relation to the intellectual property rights regime currently in force at the international level.
This is an earlier version of the chapter published in the above collection. Please cite to the final published version.
Keywords: Intellectual Property Rights, Traditional Knowledge, Indigenous Intellectual Property, UNDRIP, Indigenous Peoples' Rights
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