United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples(UNDRIP)

About the Declaration:

  • The Declaration is a comprehensive statement addressing the human rights of indigenous peoples.
  • It emphasizes rights of indigenous peoples to live in dignity, to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions and to pursue their self-determined development, in keeping with their own needs and aspirations
    • Other U.N. bodies address indigenous rights through Conventions such as the International
      Labour Organization’s(ILO) Convention No.169 and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (Article 8j).
  • UN Declarations are generally not legally binding. 
  • It was drafted and formally debated for over 20 years prior to being adopted by the General Assembly in 2007. It was started in 1982 when the UN-ECOSOC established the Working Group on Indigenous Populations.
    • Adopted by a majority of 144 states in favour, 4 votes against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States) and 11 abstentions.
  • Rights ensured by the Declaration:
    • The Declaration, however, is widely viewed as not creating new rights.
    • It addresses both individual and collective rights, cultural rights and identity, rights to education, health, employment, language, and others.
      • Recognizes subsistence rights and rights to lands, territories and resources.
    • All human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the UN, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rest of international human rights law.
    • Right to be free from any kind of discrimination.
    • Right to self-determination– By that right they can freely determine their political status and pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
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