Indigenous rights as political tools – struggles over land and identity, keynote by Rachel Sieder, senior research professor in Social Anthropology, CIESAS, CMI (#BeEx2019)
Indigenous peoples ́ special rights to territory are grounded in their identity as well as their historical discrimination and dispossession. But can these rights provide effective protection? In all parts of the world, indigenous rights – often to large tracts of resource rich land – are under pressure from developmental policies and private and public mega-projects (mines, dams, agrobusiness, infrastructure) – and the very idea of indigenous peoples’ rights are increasingly challenged by populist politicians. To what extent does effective protection depend on the ways in which these rights are justified and legally embedded?