Territorial Rights and Reparative Justice for Indigenous Displaced People

Anno LVIII, n. 237, maggio-agosto 2023
Centro Einaudi
Articolo completo/Full text


Forced displacement disproportionally impacts members of indigenous minorities. Yet, the implications remain largely unexplored in the normative literature on justice in migration and displacement. In this paper, I defend the claim that the forced displacement of indigenous people raises specific reparative justice claims. Firstly, I argue that all forcibly displaced people are owed reparations for the harms and wrongs involved in forced displacement. Secondly, I assess the implications of attributing individual occupancy rights and collective territorial rights to indigenous people. I argue that, while all forcibly displaced people are wronged when their occupancy rights are violated, this violation is especially harmful to indigenous people, given the specific relevance of their ancestral land for their life plans. Moreover,
when indigenous displaced people are dispossessed of land, all members of the indigenous group have their territorial rights over that land violated. Finally, I explore what form reparations should take to redress such harms and wrongs and who bears reparative responsibility. This last section offers a preliminary account of what is owed to indigenous displaced people qua simultaneously displaced individuals and members of indigenous minorities. Hence, it contributes to bridging the debates on justice for forcibly displaced people and justice for indigenous minorities.