Biocultural Heritage

Promoting resilient farming systems and local economies

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UN Human Rights Agreements

A number of human rights conventions also provide useful instruments for protecting indigenous peoples’ rights, but in many cases they have not been ratified or fully implemented by governments. Furthermore, existing human rights legislation is mainly directed at individual rights. Perhaps the most important are:

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948. This acknowledges the right to collective as well as individual ownership of property; the right to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship or observance; and the right to protection for the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which you are the author.

  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 1966: All peoples have the right to self-determination; and all peoples may, for their own-ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources, without any obligations arising out of international economic cooperation. People must never be deprived of their means of subsistence.

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