Indigenous Peoples

Russel Lawrence Barsh

in The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552153
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

 Indigenous Peoples

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This article first treats the emergence of indigenous peoples' rights in international law in its historic context. Subsequently, it addresses conceptual issues related to the position of indigenous peoples in international law. These issues concern critical distinctions and assumptions related to the definition of what constitutes an ‘indigenous people’ and, especially, the distinction between minority and indigenous peoples' rights and the collective representation of indigenous peoples. The article also explores the role of indigenous peoples in international environmental law with a focus on distinctively indigenous rights and responsibilities. Indigenous rights, and especially substantive rights, relate to the environment, regardless of whether they are pursued in the context of the International Labour Organisation or the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). The article also looks at community rights and partnerships, rights to land and the environment, political rights, intellectual and cultural property rights, and the right to external self-determination.

Keywords: International Labour Organisation; CSD; indigenous peoples; international law; international environmental law; community rights; political rights; external self-determination; cultural property rights; land

Article.  10203 words. 

Subjects: Law ; International Law ; Environment and Energy Law

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