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Open Access The return of the native in Indonesian law: Indigenous communities in Indonesian legislation

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The return of the native in Indonesian law: Indigenous communities in Indonesian legislation

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Although the UN-proclaimed ‘Decade for Indigenous Peoples’ officially ended in 2004, the continuing array of activities in support of special ‘indigenous rights’ shows that this movement has lost little of its impetus. In spite of criticism of the underpinnings and of the consequences of attributing special rights to ‘indigenous communities’ (Kuper 2003), support for them has remained strong – among NGOs, international organizations, governments, and scholars who do not agree with the criticism. The most notable event in this context is that after having failed to do so in 2004 the United Nations finally adopted the ‘Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ on 13 September 2007, with an overwhelming 144 countries voting in favour. Thus, there is little reason to suppose that the movement will run out of steam in the near future.

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