On November 28, 2019, British Columbia became the first jurisdiction in Canada to incorporate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UNDRIP”), making UNDRIP part of BC law.
UNDRIP is a comprehensive international instrument on the rights of indigenous peoples, that sets out basic human rights within an indigenous context and states that the rights set out within UNDRIP “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well being of the Indigenous peoples of the world”. (Article 4)
UNDRIP is not a treaty and does not clearly fall within the definition of customary international law, hence its legal effect is debatable. For this reason, Canada and other jurisdictions have been working on domestic legislation to incorporate UNDRIP into domestic law. British Columbia has led the way in doing so.
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