This book is the first full-length study of the rights of indigenous peoples, and looks at the historical, cultural, and legal background to the position of indigenous peoples in a range of different cultures, including America, Africa and Australia. The book defines who and what indigenous peoples actually are, and looks at their position in the light of the development of international law. It then looks at their legal position, and their economic, social and cultural rights in respect of various laws and conventions passed on a national and international scale throughout the world. Among the global and regional legal instruments considered in the book are The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Racial Discrimination Convention, The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, the UN Draft Declaration in Indigenous Peoples and The Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The development of human rights legislation and principles as a central tenet of international law has been of considerable benefit to indigenous peoples, although the language of human rights does not always suit indigenous societies, and sets apparent limits to the kind of social practices embraced. This is still a vitally important issue and the emotional subject of reciprocity still needs to be handled sensitively. This book will be of vital benefit to students of international law and human rights.
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