Symposium : The Human Dimension of International Cultural Heritage Law

The Cultural Rights of Indigenous Peoples:Achievements and Continuing Challenges


The novel international legal regime of the rights and status of indigenous peoples has emerged in direct response to the concerted efforts and demands of indigenous communities regarding the survival and the flourishing of their distinct cultures. Its high point, as of yet, has been the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, now enjoying virtually universal support. This article locates the regime of the Declaration within post-World War II value-oriented international law; it highlights its novel, essentially communal rights to culture, self-determination, and land; and it assesses its content within existing sources of international law. It ends with an appraisal of the progress made, and an evaluation of the challenges ahead.

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