Cultural heritage is an essential component of Indigenous peoples' cultural identity and a necessary condition for their very physical survival. Furthermore, its appropriate safeguarding is an essential prerequisite for ensuring proper enjoyment of other rights recognized by international law in favour of such peoples. Despite the fact that in recent decades the level of protection of Indigenous peoples' rights in international law has notably improved, several specific cultural-heritage-related issues continue to exist which have special implications when the heritage concerned belongs to such peoples. In light of this, specially tailored measures are necessary in order to make the right of Indigenous peoples to properly enjoy their cultural heritage effective, consistent with their particular cultural needs, their life expectations, as well as the unique role played by such heritage in preserving their survival as distinct cultural communities.
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