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Title: The Emerging International Law on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: A Look at the Ethiopian Perspective
Authors: Bahar, Abdi
Advisors: Mohammed Habib (Assistant Professor)
Copyright: Feb-2010
Date Added: 3-May-2012
Abstract: Abstract In the last three decades, indigenous peoples worldwide have been successful in bringing about legal changes in favor of their human rights and specific situation. However, there are still controversies regarding the definition of the subjects to whom these legal changes have been brought in favor of. Despite definitional impasse, the rights and interests of indigenous peoples are evolving through international law making processes. Through ILO Convention No. 169 and UN Declaration, international human rights law provides important standards on the rights of indigenous peoples. It is clear from the current assessment of the thesis that there is a growing international consensus on the need for indigenous peoples to participate in the formulation and implementation of development projects that may affect them. Despite the non recognition of indigenous peoples as defined under international law, in Ethiopian legislation, significant opportunities do exist for the protection of these peoples within existing legal frameworks in the country. These Constitutional, statutory provisions, and international instruments ratified by Ethiopia, discussed above, are of particular importance to indigenous peoples. The Constitution, for instance, requires consultation of communities over development activities affecting them. However, the level of legal and policy protection is obviously inferior compared to international and regional standards. The Ethiopian government should ratify ILO Convention No.169 and adopt a new law dealing with the rights of indigenous peoples explicitly recognizing their collective right to land. It should require identification of existing indigenous peoples based on international and African standards and establish independent monitoring institutions. In this regard, the term ‘indigenous peoples’ needs to be understood outside the confines of aboriginality. Such recognition and identification will pave the way for the protection of indigenous peoples. The Constitution should recognize the collective composition of indigenous peoples and their consultation as a group. The process of determining public interest, the role of affected communities in such processes and the extent to which their interests weigh should be settled. Measures should also be taken to encourage the participation of indigenous peoples in formal decision making organs. To ensure that the rights of indigenous peoples are properly enforced, standing rules should be relaxed to authorize public interest litigation in human rights matters.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2175
Appears in:Thesis - Law

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