How do we ensure the protection of Indigenous peoples' rights in international and constitutional law?

Associate Professor Claire Charters, Faculty of Law.

Indigenous peoples are some of the most marginalised peoples in the world: the poorest, the least educated and the sickest. A result of history and dispossession. We need to change that.

We have, for two decades, partnered with Indigenous peoples active in human rights at the UN to develop and now implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And to thereby promote equality.

One of the ways to improve the situation for Indigenous peoples is for states to agree to and then implement Indigenous peoples’ rights, including to lands, territories and resources. Indigenous peoples have much knowledge in addressing climate change, which needs to be harnessed. Indigenous peoples also are at the frontlines of the impacts of climate change.

My hope for the future is equality for all Indigenous peoples. Future research questions include: how to innovatively accommodate Indigenous peoples in constitutional law around the globe? Protecting Indigenous peoples’ lands, territories and resources will assist in attaining the SDGs.