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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Crofters' indigenous rights call
Croft house
Scottish crofters want to be given more rights
Scotland's crofters are considering asking for recognition to give them the same status as indigenous peoples such as the Australian Aborigines.

Preliminary studies for the Scottish Crofting Foundation indicate crofters want their way of life recognised as a separate culture.

They are now looking into whether they should present their case to the United Nations.

This would pave the way to them having more rights under international law.

There's no reason why the Highlands and Islands people shouldn't have a people's parliament
Patrick Krause
Scottish Crofting Foundation

Patrick Krause, chief executive of the SCF, said such status had given other people more say in government.

"There's no reason why the Highlands and Islands people shouldn't have a people's parliament," he told BBC Scotland.

"It's not revolutionary. It's something that exists in a lot of other countries where indigenous people exist and they have their own parliament in order to read into policy-making that affects their peoples.

"I think that's something that's really important to the Highlands and Islands."

Draft declaration

The UN draft declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, which is expected to be adopted this year, states: "Indigenous peoples should be free from discrimination of any kind.

"Through colonization indigenous peoples have been dispossessed of their lands and resources and were not allowed to develop as they wished which is a violation of their human rights.

"There is an urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples, especially lands, territories and resources."

It adds: "Indigenous peoples can only maintain and strengthen their cultures, traditions and institutions by exercising control over the developments affecting their lands and resources based on their needs."

Campaign to launch crofting brand
19 Feb 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Crofting bill wins MSPs' backing
25 Jan 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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