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Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN)

Over 1 billion people, or approximately 15% of the world’s population, are persons with disabilities.[1] Applying this percentage to the estimated 476 million Indigenous Peoples globally, the number of Indigenous persons with disabilities stands at approximately 71 million.[2] Similarly, if this percentage of 15% of the population with disabilities were applied to the estimated 185 million Indigenous women worldwide, it would come to 28 million Indigenous women with disabilities globally.[3] The Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN) estimates that 45 million of these Indigenous people with disabilities live in the Asia Pacific region, in developing and underdeveloped countries.[4]

Several studies have reflected the higher prevalence of disabilities among Indigenous Peoples because of a high level of poverty, increased exposure to environmental degradation, malnutrition, the impact of large projects such as dams or mining activities and the higher risk of being victims of violence.[5] Indigenous people with disabilities face exclusion, marginalization, and multiple layers of discrimination, and face barriers to the full enjoyment of their rights, based on their disability, ethnic origin and gender. And yet despite higher rates of disability in Indigenous communities, in most cases little or no attention is given to their situation, and they have no access to the services and support they need to participate fully in wider society and their own communities.[6]

The IPWDGN works to protect, promote and advance the rights of Indigenous persons with disabilities, including respect for their unique identity to live dignified lives in their communities. It is representative of the diverse geopolitical region from local to global levels from seven regions.

[1] United Nations. “E/C.19/2013/6. Economic and Social Council. 5 February 2013. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Twelfth session. New York, 20-31 May 2013. Item 7 of the provisional agenda*. Human rights. Study on the situation of indigenous persons with disabilities, with a particular focus on challenges faced with regard to the full enjoyment of human rights and inclusion in development.” Para. 2. https://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/ecosoc/e.c.19.2013.6.pdf

[2] UN Women. “Fact Sheet:  Indigenous Women with Disabilities.” UN Women, 2020. https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2020/04/fact-sheet-on-indigenous-women-with-disabilities

[3] Ibid.

[4] Asia Pacific Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People with Disabilities, First Gathering of Indigenous People with Disabilities from Asia and Pacific Region 2015.

[5] United Nations. “E/C.19/2013/6. Economic and Social Council. 5 February 2013. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Study on the situation of indigenous persons with disabilities, with a particular focus on challenges faced with regard to the full enjoyment of human rights and inclusion in development. Note by the Secretariat”. Para. 7. https://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/ecosoc/e.c.19.2013.6.pdf

[6] OHCHR. “Summary report: Expert meeting on Indigenous people with disabilities.” July 7-8, 2016. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disability/SRDisabilities/Pages/IPDisabilities.aspx

Tags: Global governance

The Indigenous World 2022: Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN)

Over 1 billion people, or approximately 15% of the world’s population, are persons with disabilities.[1] Applying this percentage to the estimated 476 million Indigenous Peoples globally, the number of Indigenous persons with disabilities stands at approximately 71 million.[2] Similarly, if this percentage of 15% of the population with disabilities were applied to the estimated 185 million Indigenous women worldwide, it would come to 28 million Indigenous women with disabilities globally.[3] The Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN) estimates that 45 million of these Indigenous people with disabilities live in the Asia Pacific region, in developing and underdeveloped countries.[4]

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The Indigenous World 2021: Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN)

Over 1 billion people, or approximately 15% of the world’s population, are persons with disabilities.[1] Applying this percentage to the estimated 476 million Indigenous Peoples globally, the number of Indigenous persons with disabilities stands at approximately 71 million.[2] Similarly, if this percentage of 15% of the population with disabilities were applied to the estimated 185 million Indigenous women worldwide, it would come to 28 million Indigenous women with disabilities globally[3] The Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN) estimates that 45 million of these Indigenous people with disabilities live in the Asia Pacific region in developing and underdeveloped countries.[4]

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

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Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for Indigenous Peoples worldwide. Read The Indigenous World.

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