• International Processes and Initiatives
  • Home
  • International Processes & Initiatives

International Processes & Initiatives

Every year IWGIA reports on the situation of Indigenous Peoples worldwide. Our global report, The Indigenous World, documents the state of Indigenous Peoples' rights in countries on all continents with detailed country reports authored by distinguished experts, Indigenous activists and scholars. 

It is IWGIA's hope that Indigenous Peoples and their organisations will find our reports useful in their advocacy work, and that a wider audience will use our information on Indigenous Peoples worldwide. The Indigenous World has been published every year since 1986.

This section focuses on International Processes and Initiatives which have a special focus on Indigenous Peoples.

Read all the individual country reports here or download any of the annual editions of The Indigenous World here


The Indigenous World 2021: Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty under the United Nations (UN) adopted in 1992. The Convention has three objectives: to conserve biodiversity, to promote its sustainable use, and to ensure the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from its utilisation (Art. 1).[1]

The Convention has developed programmes of work on thematic issues such as marine, agricultural and forest biodiversity, and on cross-cutting issues such as traditional knowledge, access to genetic resources and protected areas. All the programmes of work have a direct impact on Indigenous Peoples’ rights and territories. The Convention recognises the importance of traditional knowledge (Art. 8j) and customary sustainable use of biological resources (Art. 10c) for the achievement of its objectives.

Continue Reading

The Indigenous World 2021: Arctic Council

The Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum for promoting cooperation in the Arctic. The Arctic Council is unique in that, in addition to eight Arctic States, six Arctic Indigenous Peoples’ organizations are granted Permanent Participant status and are institutionally important participants in the Council. Permanent Participants represent the Arctic Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic Council and participate at all levels of the Arctic Council’s work.

Continue Reading

The Indigenous World 2021: Business and Indigenous Peoples' Rights

2020 was a critical year for human rights around the world. Added to the restrictions that many states had already placed on the exercise of these rights both in the global North and South, triggering the protests referred to in The Indigenous World last year, restrictions were enforced this year in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has critically affected the most vulnerable sectors of society, and Indigenous Peoples with particular intensity. This is due not only to the difficulties they face in accessing public health services, and the refusal of states to recognise Indigenous Peoples' own care strategies, including self-isolation in their rural communities, but also because their territories continue to be exposed to business activities, particularly those of an extractive nature.

Continue Reading

The Indigenous World 2021: African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) was established in accordance with Article 30 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights with a mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights on the continent. It was officially inaugurated on 2 November 1987 and is the premier human rights monitoring body of the African Union (AU). In 2001, the ACHPR established a Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa (WGIP), marking a milestone in the promotion and protection of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Africa.

Continue Reading

The Indigenous World 2021: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on 8 August 1967 with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding member states: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam and Myanmar later joined, making ASEAN a 10-member state institution.

The ASEAN Charter was adopted in November 2007 and came into force in December 2008. It is the legally binding agreement among the member states that provides ASEAN with a legal status and institutional framework.

Continue Reading

The Indigenous World 2021: Defending the Rights of Indigenous Women

The international agenda for defending the human rights of Indigenous women seemed promising in 2020 given the Beijing +25 anniversary. We in the International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI) were organising to design a clear Advocacy Route as well to prepare for our own organisation’s 20th anniversary.

Among the priorities identified for work in 2020 was facilitation of the full and effective participation of Indigenous women in the review of the Beijing Platform for Action, which was to take place during the 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2020. In addition, a joint campaign was being planned with MADRE entitled “CEDAW[1] for Indigenous Women and Girls” and finally, there was the planning for the Second World Conference of Indigenous Women.

Continue Reading



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. Read The Indigenous World.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Contact IWGIA

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

Report possible misconduct, fraud, or corruption

NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you do not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more

I understand