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Hunting by Indigenous Peoples of Charismatic Mega-Fauna: Does Human Rights Approach Challenge the Way Hunting by Indigenous Peoples is Regulated?

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Two International Covenants (the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) in common Article 1 highlighted that 'all peoples' have the right to self-determination to freely determine their 'political status' and freely dispose of their 'natural wealth and resources'. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in Article 27 provides protection of the rights belonging to minority cultures, religion and language. The idea of 'indigenous peoples' was apparently an underdeveloped area at the time of the adoption of the Covenants. The concept of indigenous peoples' rights has developed relatively recently. Thus, whether indigenous peoples are 'peoples' within the meaning of the Covenant, and thereby may be capable of enjoying the right to self-determination has been an unsettled case. When in many countries indigenous peoples form a minority, they are, however, identical as distinct from other minority groups in those countries because of their own way of livelihood and preservation of traditional culture and knowledge. Recent normative development pronounced by the Human Rights Committee suggests that indigenous peoples should be treated as 'peoples' within the meaning of Article 1 of the Covenant and as 'people' they have right to enjoy their traditional way of livelihood including right to enjoy their culture. Thus, the main focus of the article is to examine whether a human rights approach to indigenous peoples' rights has evolved to challenge the international regulatory approach currently applicable to the management of Whale and Polar Bear regime and their traditional hunt by the indigenous peoples.

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Affiliations: 1: Researcher, Northern Institute for Environment and Minority Law/ Arctic Centre


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