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4 - Internal Self-determination and Minority Groups

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 July 2021

Kalana Senaratne
Affiliation:
University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
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Summary

This chapter examines how internal self-determination applies to minority groups (i.e. ethnic minority groups and indigenous peoples). It argues that minority groups can be considered as having a right to internal self-determination. However, internal self-determination is a concept that has mixed potential for minorities. It is a principle which does not guarantee a right to autonomy, and its realization always has to be within a state. Internal self-determination, therefore, is a concept which, wittingly or unwittingly, respects the underlying framework of the state. This can limit the options of minority groups' freedom and autonomy too. As for indigenous peoples, the 2007 UNDRIP recognizes a clear right to internal self-determination. However, indigenous peoples continue to face challenges in getting the right applied to them around the world. And the UNDRIP may not be a hopeful precedent for ethnic minorities.

Type
Chapter
Information
Internal Self-Determination in International Law
History, Theory, and Practice
, pp. 73 - 117
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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