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Against Self-Isolation as a Human Right of Indigenous Peoples in Latin America

  • Benjamin GreggEmail author
Article

Abstract

Advocacy of an indigenous right to isolation in the Latin American context responds to multiple depredations, above all to plundering by extractivists. Two prominent international instruments declare a human right to indigenous self-isolation and articulate a principle of no contact between indigenous peoples and the non-indigenous majority population: Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation and Initial Contact in the Americas and Guidelines on the Protection of Indigenous Peoples. In analyzing both, (1) I argue against the notion of a human right to indigenous isolation and for limited, controlled contact between the indigenous peoples and a narrow segment of the larger society. (2) I propose relational human rights as rights that connect people, as rights-bearers, across borders and differences. They would allow for limited outside observation for possible human rights violations within indigenous communities. I then articulate relational human rights of indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation as rights to (3) agency, (4) health, (5) territory, and (6) identity.

Keywords

Indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation No-contact principle Human rights Indigenous rights to agency, health, territory, identity Latin America 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful for the comments of the three anonymous reviewers.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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