United Nations Declaration

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) established standards for the survival and dignity of indigenous peoples worldwide. It expands on existing human rights standards to apply them to the specific situation of indigenous peoples. The Declaration emphasizes the right to self-determination for indigenous communities. It addresses the rights to cultural preservation, freedom from discrimination, traditionally owned lands, and more. UNDRIP was adopted by the General Assembly on September 13, 2007. While the United States originally voted against the Declaration, it reversed its position in 2011.

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Although the Declaration asserts many rights for indigenous communities, it is not legally binding. UNDRIP is aspirational in nature. It cannot be enforced and does not require member states to follow its guidelines. The Declaration instead serves as a demonstration of respect towards indigenous peoples and desire for positive relationships between member states and indigenous communities.