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The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), has been approved by the UN General Assembly in the year 2007. From the very beginning, the drafting process of the Declaration has been proceeded with keeping in consideration the collaboration between the States and the NGOs in yielding a document for the purpose of recognizing and protecting the rights of the Indigenous people (Carpenter & Riley, 2014). The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has been promoting an alternative vision of human rights. The nature of the alternative vision is such that, it has created a dichotomy between individual human rights and the sovereignty rights of the independent states (Chisholm, Tulich & Blagg, 2017). It is noteworthy to mention in this regard, that, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) have been supporting worldview principles and in such process has incorporated collective human rights for the individuals in order to protect their interests and self-determination without emphasizing much upon independent statehood. The power and significance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has been far reaching with distinct perspectives in limiting extend of its legal approaches.
It is evident that, indigenous people are recognized as the most vulnerable and disadvantaged group. The individuals belonging to the indigenous group have unique and distinctive cultural background with varied languages, legal frameworks and traditions. It is worthwhile to refer here that, most of these indigenous people are emotionally connected to their environment and the lands on which they are living (Ford et al., 2016). These indigenous people has been sharing their legacies regarding the fact that, how they were removed from their traditional lands and territories (Lenzerini, 2016). History has clearly evidenced that how these indigenous communities were removed, subjugated and discriminated by causing destruction and violation to their traditional territories. Throughout the centuries, the people belonging to the indigenous communities have suffered as a result of non-recognition of their political and cultural institutions. The integrity of their cultural background has been undermined under various circumstances (Lenzerini, 2017). It is worth mentioning that, as a result of these ongoing processes, it created unfavorable impact upon the developmental patterns of the indigenous communities which posed as a grave threat to their political and cultural existence.
In response to the violation of human rights, indigenous people and their organization; the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) have addressed these underlying issues in both domestic and international spheres. As a result of constant intervention on the part of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in protecting the indigenous rights of the First Nations people is of utmost significance (MacMillan, MacMillan & Rigney, 2016). This is due to the reason that, as a result of such intervention, the indigenous communities have gained social and political visibility and could argue their statements in both national and international forums. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) for the purpose of addressing the issues regarding indigenous and tribal groups has established the International Labor Organization (ILO) which later on gained international cooperation and recognition (Nagel, Johnson & Hall, 2015). The International Labor Organization (ILO) has been in existence and operated efficiently for the purpose of protecting and promoting the rights of the indigenous communities since the beginning of the 1920s. It is worthwhile to mention here that the, International Labor Organization (ILO) has formulated two distinct international instruments in regard to the protection of the interests of the indigenous people categorized as- the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957 and the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention 1989.
From the very beginning, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has taken wide range of initiatives for the purpose of promoting the rights and interests of the indigenous people. In such process, the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations has been established in the year 1985 along with the establishment of a number of mechanisms for the purpose of addressing the rights of the indigenous communities in the long run (Nicol, 2017). The UNDRIP facilitated the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that has been acting as a advisory body for the purpose of discussing issues related indigenous rights to economic and social development and protection of health, education and human rights. The Forum was mandated for the purpose of promoting coordination of activities n relation to indigenous rights and issues across United Nations.
In the year 2007, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People has been established for the purpose of providing thematic advice to the Human Rights Council regarding the protection of rights of the indigenous communities. It is worth mentioning the fact that, the Expert Mechanism has proved to be beneficial in providing valuable information on specific issues pertaining to the rights and interests of the indigenous people. It is important to mention in this regard that, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has been examining ways for the purpose of addressing the existing obstacles and ensuring protection of human rights of the indigenous people (Stewart-Harawira, 2018). In this context, their rights could be identified; the ideas could be exchanged with the promotion of best practices for the purpose of gathering and receiving relevant information. In this way, the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms can be protection to the large extent.
Additionally, various monitoring bodies were implemented for the purpose of advancing the rights of the indigenous people in the long run. In this regard, mention can be made regarding the Human Rights Committee that has been monitoring the activities of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination monitoring the activities of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination has played significant role while dealing with the underlying obligations and commitments concerning indigenous issues. With the approval of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), various processes of negotiations were involved between the State authorities and the individuals belonging to the indigenous communities (Warrick, 2017). The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) can be referred to as the most comprehensive instruments protecting the rights of the indigenous communities.
The nature of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is such that it has been providing utmost importance to the rights of the indigenous people. It has given prominence to the collective rights within the purview of international human rights law with the establishment of a universal framework of minimum standards for the purpose of protecting the dignity and well-being of the indigenous communities. It is noteworthy to mention here that, the significance of the recognition of the rights of the indigenous communities cannot be underestimated at any cost. The nature of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has been clarifying the objectives of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights which is applicable for the survival, dignity and the well-being of the indigenous communities. It has formulated legal framework for the purpose of building and maintain relations with the people belonging to the indigenous communities.
After various processes of negotiations, it has provided on the part of the indigenous people and the States for the purpose of strengthening their relationships by promoting reconciliation and ensuring that there shall be no repetition of such activities in the future. Therefore, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) encourages the Member States and the indigenous communities to come forward by signing a mutual Declaration and with the spirit of mutual respect.
Mention can be made regarding the fact that, the indigenous culture has always been a defining part of their traditional identity. In most of the cases, the indigenous culture created huge impact upon their existence. It is known to all that, as a result of the cultural differences and differences in languages, the existence of the indigenous people has been threatened to the greatest extent. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has been protecting the underlying distinctiveness in regard to identity and cultural integrity of the indigenous people. The Declaration has entrusted a right on the part of the indigenous communities for the purpose of maintaining and strengthening their distinctive cultural institutions.
In the conclusion, it can be stated that, various rights are guaranteed to the indigenous people in regard to the community they belong. The rights can be emphasized as- the right to practice, the right to revitalize and transmit the cultural and traditional customs of their own. There is a right on their part to control the educational system of their own. Rights have been entrusted for the promotion and development of the institutional structures, traditional patterns, customs and legal systems. It can be finally concluded that, the indigenous people were provided with various rights in order to preserve their cultural heritage and knowledge. However, these rights should not be subjected to destruction of cultural patterns.
Carpenter, K. A., & Riley, A. R. (2014). Indigenous peoples and the jurisgenerative moment in human rights. Cal. L. Rev., 102, 173.
Chisholm, R., Tulich, T., & Blagg, H. (2017). Indigenous young people with foetal alcohol spectrum disorders: The convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and reform to the law governing fitness to stand trial in Western Australia. Law in Context, 35(2), 85.
Ford, J., Maillet, M., Pouliot, V., Meredith, T., Cavanaugh, A., & IHACC Research Team. (2016). Adaptation and indigenous peoples in the United Nations framework.
Lenzerini, F. (2016). Cultural Identity, Human Rights, and Repatriation of Cultural Heritage of Indigenous Peoples. Brown J. World Aff., 23, 127.
Lenzerini, F. (2017). 18. The land rights of indigenous peoples under international law. Comparative Property Law: Global Perspectives, 393.
MacMillan, M., MacMillan, F., & Rigney, S. (2016). How Indigenous Nation-Building Can Strengthen Indigenous Holistic Health Outcomes: Retelling the Right to Health. Journal of Northern Studies, 10(2), 147-159.
Nagel, J., Johnson, J. T., & Hall, T. D. (2015). Indigenous Peoples. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism, 1-6.
Nicol, H. N. (2017). From Territory to Rights: New Foundations for Conceptualising Indigenous Sovereignty. Geopolitics, 22(4), 794-814. imate change. Climatic change, 139(3-4), 429-443.
Stewart-Harawira, M. (2018). Indigenous resilience and pedagogies of resistance: Responding to the crisis of our age. Resilient Systems, Resilient Communities, 158.
Warrick, G. (2017). Control of Indigenous Archaeological Heritage in Ontario, Canada. Archaeologies, 13(1), 88-109.