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Part I The UNDRIP’s Relationship to Existing International Law, Ch.3 Relationship to Human Rights, and Related International Instruments »

Martin Scheinin, Mattias Åhrén
From: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Commentary
Edited By: Jessie Hohmann, Marc Weller
This chapter analyses how the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) fits within the broader picture of international legal instruments, with specific reference to related human rights norms. In many respects, the general approach the UNDRIP takes towards indigenous rights is natural. Largely from the very day indigenous peoples' representatives started to address the UN in order to claim recognition of and respect for their rights, the focus of such claims has been on allowing indigenous peoples the possibility to preserve, maintain, and develop their own distinct societies, existing side by side with the majority society. In other words, political rights — or sovereign rights — have always been at the forefront of the indigenous rights regime. In that way, indigenous peoples' rights distinguish themselves from those that apply to minority groups that are primarily individual rights. Thus, when placing emphasis on peoples' rights, the UNDRIP follows in the tradition of the indigenous rights discourse in general, as reflected in Article 3 of the Declaration.