A plight without a legal referent : protection of indigenous peoples collective right to life: a lacuna in international human rights framework? The context, the need, the struggle

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Skwarska, Beata
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The thesis deals with threats to indigenous peoples’ survival or rather their right to life and its protection in the international human rights framework by a number of instruments and mechanisms - these existing and those still in the making, with the emphasis on life’s collective nature, its multiple dimensions, and protective measures’ legal character. The threats the protection against which is gauged in the course of the work are those due to outside and often deliberate forces, decisions and policies and are related to, inter alia, armed conflicts, violence or globalization-related factors; survival is understood comprehensively as both physical and cultural or ethnic. First of all, it is the intension of the thesis to assess if the existing normative and procedural framework –specifically, genocide prohibition regime and UN treaty bodies-based protection of the right to culture – is sufficient to address the exigencies of contemporary existence of indigenous peoples or whether there exists a lacuna to be filled in this regard. Following this assessment, the ongoing process of addressing the need identified by indigenous peoples themselves ispresented, i.e. their struggle to have appropriate provisions included in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is all the more relevant now given that this text’s only remaining step in the United Nations’ structure before becoming a universal instrument is the adoption by the General Assembly, possibly this year, if viewed against the Recommendation by the Human Rights Council and the commitment reaffirmed by Heads of State and Government at 2005 World Summit and the General Assembly Resolution 60/1, paragraph 127 “to continue making progress in the advancement of the human rights of the world’s indigenous peoples at the local, national, regional and international levels, including through consultation and collaboration with them, and to present for adoption a final draft United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples as soon as possible.”
Second semester University: University of Seville.
indigenous peoples, IWGIA, right to life, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples