Global governance

We support indigenous peoples in accessing and benefiting from local and regional human rights mechanisms as well as the UN system and its global agendas.

A UN Permanent Forum is dedicated to indigenous peoples’ agendas; a UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted in 2007, and a Special Rapporteur is watching the realisation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Much has been achieved by indigenous peoples since they started advocating for their right to participate in international decision-making processes. Indigenous peoples have succeeded in adopting an international legal framework, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Institutional mechanisms and procedures mandated to promote and protect indigenous peoples’ rights have been established, such as the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur.

At the international level, indigenous peoples have crawled up the latter in the UN system: It started with the establishment of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1984 at the lowest level of the UN system, and now indigenous peoples are on the verge of getting a special status at the highest level of the UN.

At the local and regional level, indigenous peoples have organised themselves and have also gained influence and spaces within the regional human rights mechanisms as the Inter-American Human Rights System and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Indigenous peoples are still being left behind

On the local level, the rights of indigenous peoples are still not fully realised. The situation of indigenous peoples remains alarming in many countries: From land rights to women’ rights, indigenous peoples are highly challenged on the ground.

Every year, reports written by IWGIA show that the human rights of indigenous peoples are being violated and that indigenous rights defenders are increasingly threatened and many continue to be arrested or even murdered.

The Sustainable Development Goals work for indigenous peoples

For indigenous peoples, the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development provides an opportunity to access all of their rights. The targets include six explicit references to indigenous peoples.

The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development is grounded on the principles of human rights, human dignity, non-discrimination, equality and participation that are essential for indigenous peoples’ access to all of their rights. This includes the 2030 Agenda’s overarching aim of “leaving no one behind”.

The inclusion of indigenous peoples in the review process and realisation of the SDGs is necessary to prevent indigenous peoples from being left behind.

IWGIA supports the interlink between the local and the global

The linking of international commitments and national laws and is one of the biggest challenges for indigenous peoples.

Therefore IWGIA is enhancing the bridging of the existing gap by supporting the initiatives of indigenous peoples’ organisations to empower them to flag their cases in relevant international forums. They bring documentation, cases and updates from the ground to encourage change at the local level.

The aim is to link decisions and policies adopted at the global level with the development of laws and policies at the local and regional level. 

Collecting data on indigenous peoples' rights and the SDGs

With support from the EU, the online platform called the Indigenous Navigator have been developed for collecting community-generated data and information that visualises and identifies existing gaps in the implementation of indigenous peoples’ rights.

Indigenous Navigator provides tools to analyze and document indigenous peoples’ human rights and development, and uncover the important links between the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the commitments put forward in the Sustainable Development Goals and targets, and in the Outcome Document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

Through the indigenous Navigator questionnaires, communities can generate their own data and make them available on an online data portal. This will allow other actors to access in-depth information about indigenous peoples’ situation.

The Indigenous Navigator is aimed at raising indigenous peoples’ awareness of their rights through systematic data generation, and empowering them to claim their rights by using their data in dialogue with policy-makers and development stakeholders at the local, national and global levels.

The Indigenous Navigator is a collaborative initiative developed by Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Pact (AIPP), Forest Peoples’ Programme (FPP), International Labour Organization (ILO), Tebtebba Foundation, Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) and International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) with support from the European Union (EU). You can explore the tools here: www.indigenousnavigator.org

45th Session of the Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council is the main intergovernmental body within the United Nations system responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. It therefore plays a pivotal role in the promotion and the protection of Indigenous Peoples’ rights.  Most of the gains achieved by Indigenous Peoples in advancing the recognition of their rights at the international level have been led by the Human Rights Council (or by its predecessor the Commission on Human Rights).

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Joint submission on COVID-19 to the OHCHR - HRC45

45th regular session of the Human Rights Council
14 September to 2 October 2020
Agenda Item 2
Oral update by the HC, oral updates on COVID19

IWGIA and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) applaud the OHCHR for recognizing the specific vulnerabilities of Indigenous Peoples during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the rights of indigenous peoples presented in the 45th session of the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/45/22). Through this submission we would like to elaborate on this point.

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Joint submission on the Human Rights Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Cambodia

 

45th regular session of the Human Rights Council
14 September to 2 October 2020
Agenda Item 2
Country situations information on the human rights situation of Indigenous Peoples in Cambodia

IWGIA and AIPP are happy to learn from the report to the HRC that the OHCHR has been raising awareness and given training to the ministry of Justice staff on non-judicial grievance settlement mechanisms, with a focus on gender-related land rights disputes. And that the support of OHCHR has resulted in dispute resolution between IPs in Mondulkiri and Socfin rubber plantation where most land disputes relating to collective areas have been resolved and will be included in the communities’ applications for communal land titling.

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IWGIA’s submission on the report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

45th regular session of the Human Rights Council
14 September to 6 October 2020
Item 3
Interactive dialogue with SR on the rights of indigenous peoples
24th of September 2020

IWGIA’s submission on the report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples (A/HRC/45/34)

https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/45/34

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Submission on the Report of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar

 

45th regular session of the Human Rights Council
14 September to 2 October 2020
Report of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar
Agenda  item 2

IWGIA and AIPP welcome the establishment of the independent investigative mechanism with the mandate to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011. The report gives a comprehensive overview over the progress till date of the mechanism. We do however notice with regret, that the mechanism seems only to focus on the Rohingya, whereas numerous Indigenous Peoples in Myanmar suffer from countless human rights violations such as illegal land grabbing, evictions, intimidations and threats to their lives. We hope that the mandate will be able to include the plight of these peoples as well.

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IWGIA's submission on the Congo Brazzaville country report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples

 

45th regular session of the Human Rights Council
14 September to 6 October 2020
Item 3
Interactive dialogue with SR on the rights of indigenous peoples
24th of September 2020 
 

IWGIA's submission on the Congo Brazzaville country report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/45/34/Add.1

The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) welcomes the country report on Congo Brazzaville made by the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples. The report gives an excellent overview of the legal and policy frameworks for indigenous peoples in Congo Brazzaville and of the dire situation that indigenous peoples in the country are facing. IWGIA also considers the recommendations provided to the government and civil society in Congo Brazzaville – and to international donors and conservations agencies -. extremely relevant and hopes they will be fully implemented. 

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About IWGIA

IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. The Indigenous World 2019.

Contact IWGIA

Prinsessegade 29 B, 3rd floor
DK 1422 Copenhagen
Denmark
Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
E-mail: iwgia@iwgia.org
CVR: 81294410

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