1Vijaya Bharathi Ravikumar, 2Vijayendra Kumar. M,3Dr Prema Elumalai


Unsafe water and lack of access to sanitation are not the only threats to the health of the indigenous community but it is a deprivation of basic human rights. The health and well-being of the indigenous community are affected at large by the deprivation of such basic rights. Indigenous communities from ancient times have managed the land and other natural resources through sustainable measures. Such highly dense mountain regions experience clean water scarcity and unplanned sanitation systems. This problem majorly attracts four significant sustainable development goals (SDGs) viz., SDG-3, 6, 10, and 16 that emphasize good health and well-being of the community, clean water and sanitation, reduced inequalities among people, and justice respectively. Water being a core of world politics also becomes a symbol of good governance when it is efficiently managed by the governments. In India, though there are legislations such as The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, which provides the right to water to the indigenous community, the legislation is silent on the position of indigenous people in terms of access to water and there are major problems in accessing clean water and proper sanitation facilities. The present study aims to identify the complications involved in the implementation of water management laws and analyses the existing legislation and government policies in India relating to water management and indigenous communities. It also aims to analyze the international best practices and case studies relating to water management strategies of the indigenous communities.

Keyword : Indigenous People, SDGs, water, access, sanitation, governance.

Published in Issue
May 25, 2024
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


[1] Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India & Ors. (Supreme Court February 21, 1997). [2] Barral, V. (2018). Towards judicial coordination for good water. British Institute of International and Comparative Law. [3] (2003). Centre for Minority Rights Development (Kenya) and Minority Rights Group International on Behalf of Endorois Welfare Council Vs Kenya. [4] (2003). Centre for Minority Rights Development (Kenya) and Minority Rights Group International on Behalf of Endorois Welfare Council Vs Kenya. [5] D.Nakashima, R. M. (2006). Water and Indigenous People. UNESCO. [6] Galani, L. M. (2023). Protecting the Arctic Indigenous Peoples’ Livelihoods in the Face of Climate Change: The Pontential of Regional Human Rights Law and the Law of the Sea. Human Rights Law Review. [7] Giunta, A. (2023). Businesses and Indigenous Peoples’ Environmental Rights in Africa : The Ogoni Vs Nigeria Case Study. African Futures, pp.,their%20territor. [8] Global Witness. 2018. At What Cost? Irresponsible business and the murder of land and environmental defenders in 2017. Global Witness, London, 8-10. . (2018). Retrieved from layout_AW2_lowres.pdf. [9] (2010). Handölsdalen Sami Village and Ors Vs Sweden.{%22itemid%22:[%22001-97993%22]}. [10] M.C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath (Supreme Court December 13, 1997). [11] (2006). Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous Community v. Paraguay. [12] Singh, S. (2022). Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 in India:Transforming Lives Through Localisation; Why Its matter. [13] Subhash Kumar v. State of Bihar, AIR 1991 SC 420. (Supreme Court January 9, 1991). [14] T, E. P. (2016). he Mine that Displaced India’s Indigenous People. Aljazeera News. Retrieved from [15] (2001). The Social and Economic Rights Action Center, et al. v. Nigeria. [16] Vaagdhara. (2023). Strengthening Water Sovereignty of Indigenous People through Community Water Resources System. Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development. . Retrieved from [17] Vellore Citizens’ Welfare Forum v. Union of India (Supreme Court August 28, 1996). [18] (2018). Violation of rights of indigenous peoples in the world. Official Journal of the European Union.