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The Impact of the Ban on Seal Products on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A European Issue

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AbstractA ban on seal product for animal welfare concerns had been adopted by the EU Parliament in 2009. This article examines whether the ban can be contested on the grounds of its effect on indigenous rights. It will first be determined whether the directive encroaches on the rights of indigenous peoples, as proclaimed by the UN Declaration. Despite the clause that exempts the purchasing of seal products, of which the Inuit are benefactors of; it is still believed that the Declaration has been breached, and thus constitutes a violation of their cultural and economic rights. The second section examines how the Inuit have challenged the Directive Regulation on Seal product. Overall, through the examination of this case, the goal of this article is to highlight the legal challenges facing Europe vis-à-vis the development of indigenous peoples’ rights.

Affiliations: 1: Department of International and European Law of the Vrije Universiteit


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