The ‘Gänseliesel’ (Goose Girlis), a historical fountain erected in 1901, represents the most well-known landmark of the city of Goettingen.

A Step Further on Traditional Peoples Human Rights: Unveiling the Key-Factor for the Protection of Communal Property

Giovana F. Teodoro, Ana Paula N. L. Garcia



The purpose of this article is to provide a new perspective in relation to the protection of property rights of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Through an analysis based on the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Human Rights System, it is possible to identify the core elements that justify the special protection concerning traditional territories, leading to a rationality that revolves around the unique bond that traditional peoples establish with their land. By studying the recent evolution of the debate within the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the article intends to shift the focus from formal and constricted ethnic classifications to the underlying cultural identity aspects of the relationship between a certain people and its own land. This change of perspective allows the consolidation of a singular idea of property rights towards traditional territories. Aimed not only at indigenous peoples, but also to any community that shows a distinguished and deep cultural tie to its land, this particular property right notion leads to a more comprehensive and consistent protection of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples’ fundamental rights.


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