The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), formally adopted in September 2007, is often praised for its inclusion of collective rights. However, more than ten years after its adoption, it has become salient to question the extent to which UNDRIP has been successful in the promotion and protection of these particular rights, that is to say, rights guaranteed to communities of Indigenous peoples in their status as an Indigenous people, i.e. as a collective entity.

This paper uses UNDRIP as a lens through which to scrutinise the concept of collective rights and to consider why those rights are often conflated – both conceptually and procedurally – with individual rights, to the detriment of their unique character and potential. It leads the argument that collective rights are distinctive rights held by specific groups qua the group, that these have both specific meaning and utility for Indigenous and tribal peoples and communities, and that they need dedicated mechanisms for their true implementation and enforcement. FULL DETAILS