Introduction: Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights – Institutions and Influences

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND HUMAN RIGHTS: INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL JURISPRUDENCE, Ben Saul, Hart/Bloomsbury, UK, 2016

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 16/39

20 Pages Posted: 14 May 2016 Last revised: 25 Jul 2016

See all articles by Ben Saul

Ben Saul

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: May 11, 2016

Abstract

This paper introduces a forthcoming book on the jurisprudence developed by United Nations human rights treaty bodies and regional human rights bodies in creatively interpreting and adapting general human rights standards to the specific circumstances and experiences of indigenous peoples. Most of this work began in the 1980s and accelerated since the 1990s. The committees’ jurisprudence has also helped to lay the intellectual groundwork for further standard setting initiatives by other UN human rights bodies, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007. Contemporary standards were influenced by a range of legal sources and institutions, starting with seven conventions adopted by through the International Labour Organisation between 1936 and 1989, which responded to forced labour and other exploitation of indigenous peoples. Beyond the ILO, much of the standard setting on indigenous rights was developed through the non-binding but normatively influential ‘soft law’ developed by various political UN bodies. These have foremost emanated from the various special procedures and mechanisms devoted to indigenous issues in the UN system since the 1970s. These include the Working Group on Indigenous Populations (WGIP) from 1982-2007 (and its UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007), the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) from 2007 to the present, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) from 2000 to the present, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples from 2001 to the present. Beyond these UN mechanisms dedicated to indigenous issues, three other areas of international law, also of concern to specialised UN bodies, have influenced the appreciation of indigenous issues by the UN treaty committees and regional human rights bodies. These include aspects of international environmental law, cultural heritage and cultural property law, and international law concerning finance and development. One further source of normative influence is relevant – ‘treaties’ with indigenous peoples, which often preserve indigenous rights in land, resources, and self-governance.

Keywords: Indigenous peoples, sources of international law, International Labour Organisation, United Nations, human rights, UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33

Suggested Citation

Saul, Ben, Introduction: Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights – Institutions and Influences (May 11, 2016). INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND HUMAN RIGHTS: INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL JURISPRUDENCE, Ben Saul, Hart/Bloomsbury, UK, 2016; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 16/39. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2778903

Ben Saul (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/profiles/ben.saul.php

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
271
Abstract Views
1,012
rank
118,390
PlumX Metrics