IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting and defending Indigenous Peoples’ rights.
Since 1968, IWGIA has cooperated with Indigenous Peoples' organisations and international institutions to promote recognition and implementation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples. IWGIA works to empower Indigenous Peoples through documentation, capacity development and advocacy on a local, regional and international level. To achieve our mission we provide documentation, and support the advocacy and empowerment of Indigenous Peoples’ organisations and institutions via global partnerships.
IWGIA was founded in 1968 by anthropologists alarmed about the ongoing genocide of Indigenous Peoples taking place in the Amazon. The aim was to establish a network of researchers and human right activists to document the situation of Indigenous Peoples and advocate for an improvement of their rights.
In 1989, IWGIA obtained Observer NGO status at the United Nations and uses this, among other interventions, to facilitate access on the part of Indigenous Peoples’ organisations that would not otherwise be able to participate.
Today Indigenous Peoples from all over the world are involved in IWGIA's global network. Still, the key drivers for change in our work are documentation, supporting empowerment and advocacy.
Every year since 1986, IWGIA has published The Indigenous World, a yearbook that provides unique insights into and updates on the development of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. You can download all editions of The Indigenous World for free here >>
We promote and defend Indigenous Peoples’ rights.
A world where all Indigenous Peoples fully enjoy their internationally recignised rights.
Trust, honesty and respect - Integrity and transparency - Accountability - Independence - Urgency Partnerships
Together with our partners we design and implement activities and projects for Indigenous Peoples’ organisations and institutions in order to connect local, regional and international demands.
We ensure that Indigenous voices are heard by facilitating their participation in the UN system and in national dialogues. Our longstanding partnership with Indigenous Peoples organisations and human rights institutions has created a global network that inspires change through sharing of good practices and experiences.
Observer status and expert memberIWGIA has consultative/observer status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Arctic Council and and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). IWGIA has observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR). IWGIA staff served from 2002 until 2020 as an expert member of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities (WGIP) of the African Commission.
Networks across the globeIWGIA is an active member of European networks and coalitions such as the European Network for Indigenous Peoples (ENIP), the Forum for Development Cooperation for Indigenous Peoples, the International Land Coalition (ILC), the Coalition of European Lobbies on Eastern African Pastoralism (CELEP) and the Working Group on Human Rights and Climate Change (WG HRCC).