Human Rights

Human Rights

The complexity of the international environmental legal landscape may be mirrored only by that of human rights. Whereas fundamental human rights have been rigorously developed over the past several decades, the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities are a relatively new site of struggle in international law. The most progressive instrument, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, was adopted only in 2007.

Natural Justice began engaging in international human rights fora in 2011 through the 4th Session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The focus of this session was Indigenous peoples and the right to participate in decision-making. We strive to engage more concertedly in subsequent sessions of the Expert Mechanism, as well as in the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and, where possible, in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples. Ensuring synergies and cross-linkages between international human rights and environmental frameworks is of critical importance and we aim to leverage gains related to community rights in both.






State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (UN, 2009)
Read More


Conservation and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: Must One Come at the Expense of the Other? (Morel, 2010)
Read More


Mandating Recognition: International Law and Native/Aboriginal Title (Lynch, 2011)
Read More

Prospects and Challenges in the Implementation of Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights in International Law: Lessons from the Case of Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua (Alvarado, 2007)
Read More

Biocultural Community Protocols: Articulating Stewardship, Asserting Rights, Affirming Responsibilities
English | Français

Biodiversity and Culture: Exploring community protocols, rights and consent (IIED Participatory Learning and Action 65, 2012)
English | Español


Biocultural Community Protocols: Articulating and Asserting Stewardship (Moving Images & Natural Justice, 2012)
English | Français | Español


Rooibos Robbery: A Story of Bioprospecting in South Africa (Steps Southern Africa, 2012)
Watch Video


Maldhari Biocultural Community Protocol Photo Story (Sahjeevan & Natural Justice, 2012)
Watch Video

Latest Publication

Biocultural Community Protocols: A Toolkit for Community Facilitators
Read More
Key Links
Community Protocols

Images from our work in Africa, Asia, and the Americas
View More