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Advancing the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples: Getting UN attention via the universal periodic review
Higgins, Noelle
Having been neglected by the Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights (UDHR), minority rights, and even more so, the rights of indigenous peoples, have developed in quite an ad hoc and indolent manner. The rights of minorities were recognised in Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1966, but as yet no binding UN instrument on minorities exists. Indigenous peoples fared worse under the UN system as their rights, apart from labour rights, were not codified in a legal instrument until the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007. Over the years a complex framework of mechanisms was established within the UN to support the rights of these groups, but their concerns and entitlements were still sidelined to an extent due to the lack of binding instruments and the absence of comprehensive and compulsory State reporting requirements on these issues. However, in 2007 the newly created Human Rights Council developed a novel method of overseeing the implementation of universal human rights standards in the form of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR allows for discussion on all human rights issues and is not bound by the subject matter limitations of the UN treaty body regime, thus encompassing minority rights and indigenous peoples' rights within its rubric. This article seeks to analyse how the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples were dealt with during the first cycle of the UPR and to assess the impact of this mechanism on these rights.
Keyword(s): Human Rights Council; indigenous peoples' rights; minority rights; universal periodic review
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): Higgins, Noelle (2014) Advancing the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples: Getting UN attention via the universal periodic review. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, 32 (4). pp. 379-407. ISSN 2214-7357
Publisher(s): SAGE Publications
File Format(s): other
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First Indexed: 2020-04-02 06:05:37 Last Updated: 2020-04-02 06:05:37