Colonial railway tracks near Aus in southern Namibia ECCHR
Colonial Repercussions in Germany and NamibiaSymposium

Participation rights of indigenous peoples

Over the past three decades, indigenous peoples’rights have become an important component of international law and policy. This is a result of a movement driven by indigenous peoples, civil society and other stakeholders. One of its main achievements is the United Nations General Assembly’s 2007 adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. By 2010, the vast majority of UN member states supported the declaration, and none …

READ MORE →

Plurality of Law and DevelopmentSymposium

Burning issues in the “Land of the Future”

Conflicts over indigenous lands and the Amazon in Brazil

Since his first visit, Stefan Zweig had been fascinated by Brazil. Friendly people, good weather, and terrific landscapes. This fascination has led Zweig to publish a book called Brazil, Land of the Future (Brasilien – Ein Land der Zukunft). In this book, Zweig praised Brazil for its success in mixing individuals and groups, a true role model for multicultural societies. However, this supposed harmonious coexistence of multiple cultures in Brazil …

READ MORE →

Plurality of Law and DevelopmentSymposium

Alternatives to Development in the Andes

Contesting cosmovisions and their path towards recognition

The concept of “development” has become a buzzword for social change, economic redistribution and ultimately socio-economic rights. This concerns both economic relations maintained in the international community built on the premise of State sovereignty and resulting intergovernmental agreements. Manifestations of such realities are manifold including a dominating WTO-steered legal order; new international trade deals such as current EU-Mercosur negotiations on the most extensive free trade zone on earth; the CETA …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

What’s next to preserve the linguistic richness of Indigenous Peoples?

Beyond the International Year of Indigenous Languages

This year, 2019, marks the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Based on the United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution 71/178, it represents a massive effort to finally raise awareness on the invaluable richness of Indigenous languages. This initiative is primarily led by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), but it involves all the UN bodies directly dealing with Indigenous Peoples’ rights (e.g., the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Winter is (no longer) coming

The impact of the Arctic melt on Inuit peoples

Climate Change is an all-engulfing global challenge, triggering its share of fear, skepticism and most recently outright denial. This reality is alarming. An IPCC special report warns of global temperatures rising 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. By 2080, the Arctic Summer Sea Ice is expected to disappear completely. Unfortunately, States continue to ignore the horrifying prospect of a vanishing arctic, and its impact on the lives of the Arctic …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Setback for the descendants of the Nama and Ovaherero indigenous peoples

A New York Court declines jurisdiction in Rukoro et al. v. Germany

Almost two years after members and descendants of the Nama and Ovaherero indigenous peoples filed a class action complaint against the Federal Republic of Germany in a United States District Court, the New York Court dealing with the case dismissed the complaint on March 6, 2019 for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The plaintiffs have filed a notice of appeal to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March …

READ MORE →

InterviewPractitioner's Corner

David gegen Goliath

Ein Interview mit Survival International zu den Rechten indigener Völker

Wenn man über indigene Völker in den Medien liest, dann liest man in der Regel leider selten Gutes: Land Grabbing, Vertreibung oder, wie in Australien, der Kampf der Aborigines um die Anerkennung als erste Bewohner des Landes in Form eines Vertrages. Survival International ist eine internationale Nichtregierungsorganisation, die sich für die Rechte indigener Völker einsetzt. Wir sprachen mit Linda Poppe von Survival International über aktuelle Herausforderungen, Möglichkeiten und Grenzen des Rechts …

READ MORE →