Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Assessing the UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines Report in Light of the Right to Health
Laws 2016, 5(4), 43; doi:10.3390/laws5040043 -
Abstract
Access to medicines is the lynchpin to realizing a range of human rights, public health and development imperatives. However, without strong policy action to increase access to affordable medicines, there is little hope of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals or of realizing the
[...] Read more.
Access to medicines is the lynchpin to realizing a range of human rights, public health and development imperatives. However, without strong policy action to increase access to affordable medicines, there is little hope of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals or of realizing the human right to health. Access to medicines is a fundamental element of the right to health, and the majority of states are bound by core obligations in this regard. Accordingly, states must ensure that this critical human rights, public health and development interest is appropriately prioritized against inadequate resource allocations and competing private or trade interests. This is an imperative which we have argued should have framed the deliberations of the UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, convened to propose solutions to the “policy incoherence” between international human rights, trade rules and public health that is impeding access to medicines and the right to health for millions. In this article we explore interpretations in international human rights law regarding state duties towards medicines that should have guided these deliberations, and which were presented by the first author in a submission to the panel. We argue that at least two clear right to health duties support the High Level Panel’s recommendations: (1) the duty to prevent unreasonably high costs for medicines from denying large segments of the population their rights to health; and (2) the core obligation to provide essential medicines. Consequently, we explore three areas of action implied by these duties: (1) consistent implementation of human rights impact assessment; (2) institutionalizing the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) flexibilities in law and policy; (3) making permanent the waiver of TRIPS for least developed countries (LDC), and waiving the application of TRIPS to essential medicines in low and middle-income countries. Finally, we assess the extent to which the recommendations made by the Panel’s final report comply with these duties and accordingly with the right to health. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
What Has Limited the Impact of UK Disability Equality Law on Social Justice?
Laws 2016, 5(4), 42; doi:10.3390/laws5040042 -
Abstract
The literature indicates that disabled workers in the UK experience more social injustice than UK workers as a whole, including in relation to employment rates and wage levels. Drawing on the author’s 2015 qualitative study of 265 disabled workers, this paper considers how
[...] Read more.
The literature indicates that disabled workers in the UK experience more social injustice than UK workers as a whole, including in relation to employment rates and wage levels. Drawing on the author’s 2015 qualitative study of 265 disabled workers, this paper considers how successful the Equality Act 2010 Reasonable Adjustments Duty has been in tackling this social injustice. It finds that in the context of the “flexible” labour force (consisting of insecure jobs), and the “reformed” welfare state, the Reasonable Adjustments Duty is ill-equipped to achieve its original purpose of reducing the substantial disadvantage that disabled workers face. As regards the “flexible” labour force, there appeared, for example, to be a strong reluctance to make reasonable adjustments for workers on zero hours contracts; while, as regards the impact of welfare reform, fear of being dismissed and facing benefit sanctions discouraged zero hours workers from pushing for adjustments which had been refused. The paper goes on to suggest a possible wording for a strengthened Reasonable Adjustments Duty. It concludes, however, that, without changes to unfair dismissal, and other labour laws, to address the wider iniquities of the flexible labour market, a strengthened duty will not be able to prevent a long term increase in social injustice for disabled workers. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Liberal or Conservative? Genetic Rhetoric, Disability, and Human Species Modification
Laws 2016, 5(4), 41; doi:10.3390/laws5040041 -
Abstract
A certain political rhetoric is implicit and sometimes explicit in the advocacy of human genetic modification (indicating here both the enhancement and the prevention of disability). The main claim is that it belongs to a liberal tradition. From a perspective supplied by the
[...] Read more.
A certain political rhetoric is implicit and sometimes explicit in the advocacy of human genetic modification (indicating here both the enhancement and the prevention of disability). The main claim is that it belongs to a liberal tradition. From a perspective supplied by the history and philosophy of science rather than by ethics, the content of that claim is examined to see if such a self-description is justified. The techniques are analyzed by which apparently liberal arguments get to be presented as “reasonable” in a juridical sense that draws on theories of law and rhetoric. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Copyright, Culture, and Community in Virtual Worlds
Laws 2016, 5(4), 40; doi:10.3390/laws5040040 -
Abstract
Communities that interact on-line through computer games and other virtual worlds are mediated by the audiovisual content of the game interface. Much of this content is subject to copyright law, which confers on the copyright owner the legal right to prevent certain unauthorized
[...] Read more.
Communities that interact on-line through computer games and other virtual worlds are mediated by the audiovisual content of the game interface. Much of this content is subject to copyright law, which confers on the copyright owner the legal right to prevent certain unauthorized uses of the content. Such exclusive rights impose a limiting factor on the development of communities that are situated around the interface content, as the rights, privileges, and exceptions associated with copyright generally tend to disregard the cultural significance of copyrighted content. This limiting effect of copyright is well illustrated by examination of the copying of content by virtual diaspora communities such as that formed around the game Uru: Ages of Myst; thus, the opportunity for on-line communities to legally access the graphical elements on which those communities are built is fraught with potential legal liability. This presents the reciprocal situation from efforts to protect the cultural properties of indigenous communities as traditional knowledge. Reconsideration of current copyright law would be required in order to accommodate the cohesion of on-line communities and related cultural uses of copyrighted content. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Precedents, Patterns and Puzzles: Feminist Reflections on the First Women Lawyers
Laws 2016, 5(4), 39; doi:10.3390/laws5040039 -
Abstract
This paper initially examines the historical precedents established by some of the first women who entered the “gentleman’s profession” of law in different jurisdictions, as well as the biographical patterns that shaped some women’s ambitions to enter the legal professions. The paper then
[...] Read more.
This paper initially examines the historical precedents established by some of the first women who entered the “gentleman’s profession” of law in different jurisdictions, as well as the biographical patterns that shaped some women’s ambitions to enter the legal professions. The paper then uses feminist methods and theories to interpret “puzzles that remain unsolved” about early women lawyers, focusing especially on two issues. One puzzle is the repeated claims on the part of many of these early women lawyers that they were “lawyers”, and not “women lawyers”, even as they experienced exclusionary practices and discrimination on the part of male lawyers and judges—a puzzle that suggests how professional culture required women lawyers to conform to existing patterns in order to succeed. A second puzzle relates to the public voices of early women lawyers, which tended to suppress disappointments, difficulties and discriminatory practices. In this context, feminist theories suggest a need to be attentive to the “silences” in women’s stories, including the stories of the lives of early women lawyers. Moreover, these insights may have continuing relevance for contemporary women lawyers because it is at least arguable that, while there have been changes in women’s experiences, there has been very little transformation in their work status in relation to men. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Harmonisation and Cross-Fertilisation of Socio-Economic Rights in the Human Rights Treaty Bodies: Disability and the Reasonableness Review Case Study
Laws 2016, 5(4), 38; doi:10.3390/laws5040038 -
Abstract
In light of the recent adoption of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (OP-CRPD), there is a necessity for harmonisation among
[...] Read more.
In light of the recent adoption of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (OP-CRPD), there is a necessity for harmonisation among the treaty bodies, particularly in the area of socio-economic rights. The equality norm in the CRPD, including the duty to reasonably accommodate, is an important facilitator of socio-economic rights.  This article sets forth the opportunities for cross-fertilisation of socio-economic rights, and disability rights in particular, at the level of international human rights law and beyond, as well as the potential that exists for social change at the domestic level. The CRPD Committee and the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNCESCR) will undertake the task of assessing measures adopted by States related to alleged violations under the optional protocols and will determine compliance with treaty obligations under the State reporting procedure. In that regard, a framework of “reasonableness review” is proposed, which could provide the opportunity to merge individual rights’ violations with broader issues of socio-economic inequalities and could also lead to coherent implementation of the normative content of socio-economic rights at the domestic level. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Discussions around Precision Genetic Engineering: Role of and Impact on Disabled People
Laws 2016, 5(3), 37; doi:10.3390/laws5030037 -
Abstract
Genetic researchers are advancing in their abilities to extract precise genetic information from biological and human entities bringing genetic research steps closer to accurately modifying genes of biological entities, including that of humans. In this analytical essay, we focus on the discussions about
[...] Read more.
Genetic researchers are advancing in their abilities to extract precise genetic information from biological and human entities bringing genetic research steps closer to accurately modifying genes of biological entities, including that of humans. In this analytical essay, we focus on the discussions about precision genetic intervention that have taken place since March 2015 as they pertain to disabled people. We focus on two areas; one being the role of disabled people in the recent gene editing discussions and the second being the utility of existing legal instruments. Within our first focus we address the following questions: (a) What is the visibility of disabled people in the gene-editing discussions that have taken place since March 2015? (b) What has been the impact of those discussions on disabled people? (c) Were social problems which disabled people face taken into account in those discussions; (d) How does the reality of engagement with disabled people in these discussions fit with science, technology and innovation governance discourses that ask for more stakeholder, bottom up and anticipatory involvement? Within our second focus we address the following questions: (a) What is the utility of the United Nations Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD); and (b) What is the utility of existing legal instruments covering genetic interventions: for preventing negative social consequences of genetic engineering developments for disabled people. We argue that (a) the genetic engineering debates since March 2015 have portrayed disabled people dominantly through a medical lens; (b) that the governance of science, technology and innovation of genetic engineering including anticipatory governance and responsible innovation discourses has not yet engaged with the social impact of gene editing on disabled people; (c) that few scholars that focus on the social situation of disabled people are visible in the governance discussions of gene editing; and (d) that the utility of the UNCRPD and the investigated genetic-related legal instruments and international agreements to protect disabled people from negative consequences coming out of the gene editing discussions is unclear at the least. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Precision Medicine and Advancing Genetic Technologies—Disability and Human Rights Perspectives
Laws 2016, 5(3), 36; doi:10.3390/laws5030036 -
Abstract
Scientific and technological developments are propelling genetics and genetic technologies into the public sphere. Scientific and technological innovation is becoming more refined, resulting in an increase in the availability and use of genetic testing, and other cutting edge genetic technologies, including gene editing.
[...] Read more.
Scientific and technological developments are propelling genetics and genetic technologies into the public sphere. Scientific and technological innovation is becoming more refined, resulting in an increase in the availability and use of genetic testing, and other cutting edge genetic technologies, including gene editing. These genetic advances not only signal a growing trend towards precision medicine, but also provoke consideration of the protection of genetic information as an emerging human rights concern. Particular ethical and legal issues arise from a disability perspective, including the potential for discrimination and privacy violations. In consideration of the intersection of genetics and disability, this article highlights the significant concerns raised as genetic science and technology advances, and the consequences for disability rights, particularly the core concepts of non-discrimination, and respect for diversity and difference. On examining international human rights perspectives, it looks particularly at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and how it may be used to guide best practice in this area. With an acknowledgement of historical abuses of genetic science, this article highlights the need to maintain caution as to the potential consequences of advancing genetic technologies on persons with disabilities and indeed on society as a whole. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Disability in a Human Rights Context
Laws 2016, 5(3), 35; doi:10.3390/laws5030035 -
Abstract
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a modern human rights treaty with innovative components. It impacts on disability studies as well as human rights law. Two innovations are scrutinized in this article: the model of disability and the
[...] Read more.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a modern human rights treaty with innovative components. It impacts on disability studies as well as human rights law. Two innovations are scrutinized in this article: the model of disability and the equality and discrimination concepts of the CRPD. It is argued that the CRPD manifests a shift from the medical model to the human rights model of disability. Six propositions are offered why and how the human rights model differs from the social model of disability. It is further maintained that the CRPD introduces a new definition of discrimination into international public law. The underlying equality concept can be categorized as transformative equality with both individual and group oriented components. The applied methodology of this research is legal doctrinal analysis and disability studies model analysis. The main finding is that the human rights model of disability improves the social model of disability. Three different models of disability can be attributed to different concepts of equality. The medical model corresponds with formal equality, while the social model with substantive equality and the human rights model can be linked with transformative equality. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Cosmopolitan Future: A Feminist Approach
Laws 2016, 5(3), 34; doi:10.3390/laws5030034 -
Abstract
This study questions the “clash of civilizations” thesis. Referring to the cosmopolitanization process as defined by Beck and Sznaider (2010), I analyze the cosmopolitanization of feminism, that is, the gradual recognition of “the others’ others”, the women, through the evolution of their political
[...] Read more.
This study questions the “clash of civilizations” thesis. Referring to the cosmopolitanization process as defined by Beck and Sznaider (2010), I analyze the cosmopolitanization of feminism, that is, the gradual recognition of “the others’ others”, the women, through the evolution of their political rights—the right to elect and be elected—at a global level. In this context, the descriptive representation of women, their substantive representation, and their voices within civil society in the North and the South highlight the fact that feminism is undergoing a process of cosmopolitanization, albeit in a slow and sporadic way. I present this argument from a postcolonial feminist perspective and base my research on NGOs’ data and on data provided by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN-Women. First, I analyze the cosmpolitanization process as applied to feminism. Then, following Beck and Sznaider (2010), I describe how this process is articulated ‘from above’ (top-down cosmopolitanization), referring to electoral data from around the world and to international law. Further, I relate to the cosmopolitanization of feminism ‘from below’, referring to feminist theories, cyberfeminism and the global civil/feminist society. In conclusion, I discuss the common future of feminism and cosmopolitanism. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Protection Orders for Battered Women in Israel
Laws 2016, 5(3), 32; doi:10.3390/laws5030032 -
Abstract
The aim of the present study is to describe and re-consider the findings obtained from analysis of 260 protection orders that were granted in cases of violence by men against their partners. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Law was enacted in Israel in
[...] Read more.
The aim of the present study is to describe and re-consider the findings obtained from analysis of 260 protection orders that were granted in cases of violence by men against their partners. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Law was enacted in Israel in 1991. The data collection for the study took place 10 years later, after the 1996 amendment was enacted. In this article I revisit the data, the only empirical data on protection orders in Israel, and examine both the process of obtaining protection orders and several attendant issues that are relevant to the procedure, such as the remedies the law offers and the use (or lack of it) judges make of them. The study compares the first ex parte hearings and the second hearings, and the discussion and summary sections provide an insight into the problems emerging from the description of the situation in Israel in light of the current knowledge existing in the world today. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Lux In Arcana: Decoding the Right to Be Forgotten in Digital Archives
Laws 2016, 5(3), 33; doi:10.3390/laws5030033 -
Abstract
On 13 May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that search engines such as Google had a duty to respect EU citizens’ right to be forgotten. That is, the search engines—deemed “controllers” of information under the Directive—were obligated in some circumstances to
[...] Read more.
On 13 May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that search engines such as Google had a duty to respect EU citizens’ right to be forgotten. That is, the search engines—deemed “controllers” of information under the Directive—were obligated in some circumstances to remove or de-list links from search results that pertain to information that infringes on an individual’s rights under the Directive. In the fall of 2015, the Spanish Supreme Court found itself obligated to determine the application of the digital right to be forgotten in a different context: This time in a digital newspaper archive. However, since the right to be forgotten is purely judicially-created and not yet memorialized in a regulation (other than through judicial interpretations of the European Directive 1995/46/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 24 October on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data), it is therefore appropriate to analyze Spain’s recent Supreme Court ruling as an indicator of the future of the right. What does this decision mean for the future of the right to be forgotten? Full article
Open AccessArticle
Subverting Justice: Socio-Legal Determinants of Impunity for Violence against Women in Guatemala
Laws 2016, 5(3), 31; doi:10.3390/laws5030031 -
Abstract
High levels of violence against women and impunity in Guatemala have reached crisis proportions and have received increased international attention in recent years. The phenomenon of feminicide (e.g., killings of women in the context of state impunity), is widespread in Latin America and
[...] Read more.
High levels of violence against women and impunity in Guatemala have reached crisis proportions and have received increased international attention in recent years. The phenomenon of feminicide (e.g., killings of women in the context of state impunity), is widespread in Latin America and particularly acute in Guatemala. Many (if not the majority) are rooted in violence that becomes concentrated in the family. In this paper, we propose that both the structure and application of the laws in Guatemala contribute to widespread impunity. Police and judges use laws other than those created to address violence against women in order to justify lack of enforcement. For example, judges resist issuing restraining orders, and police refuse to apply them because this can violate perpetrators’ property rights. Judges also refuse to apply domestic violence laws because this violates the principle of equality under the law. Women refuse to use the legal system to seek justice because alimony laws will not be enforced and women are economically dependent. The discriminatory fashion in which these laws are applied leads to widespread impunity. Even though laws on the books could be applied otherwise, those who implement them privilege laws that conflict with violence against women laws. While much scholarship focuses on individual-level motives for violence, we instead analyze the socio-legal environment and existing legal codes that enable continued failure to respond adequately to violence against women. The legal framework and the legal code itself are deeply shaped by the context in which they are written—the structural, gender, symbolic, everyday and long arm of political violence that permeate all aspects of life in Guatemala and exacerbate women’s vulnerability, especially the poor. We argue that this broader legal context endangers the lives of women in Guatemala. We also extend the socio-legal scholarship to highlight failures for victim’s families and the disempowerment of women as they enter relationships. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Using Risk to Assess the Legal Violence of Mandatory Detention
Laws 2016, 5(3), 30; doi:10.3390/laws5030030 -
Abstract
Immigration mandatory detention is a particularly harsh example of the structural violence embedded in immigration enforcement. It deprives liberty without bond for immigrants with prior crimes, and assigns many individuals to the harsh conditions associated with unnecessary and even wrongful detention. Mandatory detention
[...] Read more.
Immigration mandatory detention is a particularly harsh example of the structural violence embedded in immigration enforcement. It deprives liberty without bond for immigrants with prior crimes, and assigns many individuals to the harsh conditions associated with unnecessary and even wrongful detention. Mandatory detention has been justified on the grounds that mandatory detainees are a danger to public safety. This article puts to the test this presumption of dangerousness among mandatory detainees, and finds, to the contrary, that immigrants with prior charges or convictions are no more dangerous than any other category of individuals in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. Using the risk classification assessment (RCA) tool, which the author is the first to obtain through the Freedom of Information Act, the article contributes to the growing criticism of mandatory detention, providing evidence that many of those in mandatory detention should probably have never been detained. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Strengthening the Voice of Persons with Mental Health Problems in Legal Capacity Proceedings
Laws 2016, 5(3), 29; doi:10.3390/laws5030029 -
Abstract
Despite the standards set out by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), states are reluctant to put an end to substitute decision-making regimes all at once. Persons with mental health problems are particularly affected by such regimes
[...] Read more.
Despite the standards set out by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), states are reluctant to put an end to substitute decision-making regimes all at once. Persons with mental health problems are particularly affected by such regimes that are instituted by independent authorities through legal capacity proceedings. In order to allow the person to express their will and preferences throughout the proceedings, the right to be heard is of primary importance for the person concerned. The objective of this paper is to review the essential support mechanisms as well as procedural accommodations for the implementation of an equal and effective right to be heard for persons with mental health problems. Fulfilling the right to be heard in legal capacity proceedings is a step towards more individualized regimes that promote the autonomy of the person. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Governance of the Internet of Things—From Infancy to First Attempts of Implementation?
Laws 2016, 5(3), 28; doi:10.3390/laws5030028 -
Abstract
In the course of the Internet’s growing importance within the last decade, the Internet of Things (IoT) has also been a subject of much debate. Being defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as the development of item identifications, sensor technologies and the
[...] Read more.
In the course of the Internet’s growing importance within the last decade, the Internet of Things (IoT) has also been a subject of much debate. Being defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as the development of item identifications, sensor technologies and the ability to interact with the environment, the term Internet of Things, in more simple words, stands for a technology that is based on the connection of everyday objects to the Internet which exchange, aggregate and process information regarding their physical environment for providing value-added services to end-users. Notwithstanding the extensive research activities having been conducted in the recent past and the broad consensus as to the necessity of a basic normative framework for IoT applications, a final multilateral agreement is still missing. In this respect, an analysis of possible approaches solving the present challenges seems to be worthwhile to conduct. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Proportionality and Solidarity Principles and Their Impact on Privacy Laws in German Jurisprudence
Laws 2016, 5(2), 27; doi:10.3390/laws5020027 -
Abstract
Privacy laws and the use of information technology that guarantee confidentiality and information integrity are components of an individual’s rights in German jurisprudence. The protection of a person’s identity, information, ideas, feelings, emotions and particularly the way to communicate them is considered essential
[...] Read more.
Privacy laws and the use of information technology that guarantee confidentiality and information integrity are components of an individual’s rights in German jurisprudence. The protection of a person’s identity, information, ideas, feelings, emotions and particularly the way to communicate them is considered essential to human dignity. Extensive studies in these areas has made this protection a central pillar of law-related research in Germany. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Uneasy Bedfellows: Social Justice and Neo-Liberal Practice in the Housing Market
Laws 2016, 5(2), 26; doi:10.3390/laws5020026 -
Abstract
The Australian state has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which emphasizes a social justice-based, personalized service delivery model. The upcoming National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) reflects this model and aims to facilitate people living with a disability
[...] Read more.
The Australian state has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which emphasizes a social justice-based, personalized service delivery model. The upcoming National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) reflects this model and aims to facilitate people living with a disability being able to access services while housed within the private residential market, a move away from a state-based combined residential/service care model. However, in Australia’s neo-liberal housing market government intervention tends to shy away from policies that overtly impose restrictions on private firms. Therefore, in the absence of a subsidy from the state, the CRPD is of limited use in encouraging private developers to improve the appropriateness of its new built stock for people with a disability. A more persuasive approach is to highlight the size, diversity, and economic power of the disability-friendly housing consumer market when housing provision is separated from disability care delivery. This paper examines the feasibility of sustaining innovation in the volume builder housing market by aligning accessibility promoting changes to the existing innovation channels within Australian firms, suggesting that the NDIS concentrate on assisting the housing industry transition to a make-to-order model from the current make-to-forecast one. Full article
Open AccessEssay
The Death Penalty and Human Dignity: An Existential Fallacy
Laws 2016, 5(2), 25; doi:10.3390/laws5020025 -
Abstract
Proponents of capital punishment in the United States frequently cite the evolution from electrocution and hanging to lethal injection as an indication that the evolving standards of decency exhibited by such a transition demonstrate a respect for human dignity. This essay examines that
[...] Read more.
Proponents of capital punishment in the United States frequently cite the evolution from electrocution and hanging to lethal injection as an indication that the evolving standards of decency exhibited by such a transition demonstrate a respect for human dignity. This essay examines that claim by evaluating two standards for assessing whether an act comports with accepted definitions of human dignity: a personal-achievement model, based on work by economist Amartya Sen of Harvard University, and a universal and intrinsic approach to human dignity articulated by criminologist Robert Johnson of the American University. We evaluate Sen’s capabilities model through the lens of a condemned prisoner’s ability to achieve self-defined goals. We then assess Johnson’s claim that preserving human dignity requires an elimination of the death penalty, irrespective of any prisoner’s ability to lead a restricted, albeit goal-directed, existence. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Indigenous Reindeer Herding as a Human Right
Laws 2016, 5(2), 24; doi:10.3390/laws5020024 -
Abstract
The specifically changing climate conditions in the arctic and subarctic tremendously affect the vegetation and the conditions of the snow. This, therefore, influences the possibilities for rangifer tarandus to feed. For many indigenous peoples across the global North, the herding of reindeer, however,
[...] Read more.
The specifically changing climate conditions in the arctic and subarctic tremendously affect the vegetation and the conditions of the snow. This, therefore, influences the possibilities for rangifer tarandus to feed. For many indigenous peoples across the global North, the herding of reindeer, however, is an extremely important source of income. When the increasing temperatures lead to snow melting a bit and then freezing over again, the reindeer loose access to their feed. This has led to the starvation of thousands of reindeer in Russia in 2013/2014. This paper will try to shed light on the background of the historic as well as the legal aspects of indigenous Sámi reindeer herders in the multi-state Sápmi area. While reindeer herding represents a significant livelihood for the indigenous population, the change in climate increasingly threatens the sustainability of this cornerstone of Sámi identity. This text aims to highlight existing rules of international human rights introduced to protect indigenous reindeer herders and the state’s duty to refrain from actions endangering indigenous livelihoods and to take positive action aimed at their protection. Full article