Indigenous Peoples and Developments in International Law: Toward Change through Multilateralism and the Modern Human Rights Frame

  • S. James Anaya
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The advent of European exploration and conquest in the Western Hemisphere following the arrival of Christopher Columbus brought on questions of the first order. Prominent European theorists debated the legality and morality of claims to the ‘New World’ within a body of jurisprudence that traditionally is associated with the rise of modern international law. Ever since then, the normative discourse and institutions of global order that comprise international law have had implications for the status and rights of peoples indigenous to lands subject to colonization and its legacies. Shaped by state-centred patterns of global organization and political power, international law eventually became an instrumentality in aid of the often brutal forces that wrested lands from indigenous peoples, suppressed their cultures and autonomous institutions of social interaction and control, and left them among the poorest of the poor.


Indigenous People Supra Note Indigenous Population International Labour Organization Indigenous Group 
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© The United Nations University 1999

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  • S. James Anaya

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