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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


Indigenous World 2020: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Indigenous Peoples

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, Indigenous Peoples have been engaging in national, regional and global processes related to the SDGs. The main objective is to promote the recognition, protection and realisation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, wellbeing and dignity, and to enhance their contributions to sustainable development.

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Indigenous World 2020: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Convention

The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (“World Heritage Convention”) was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) General Conference in 1972. With 193 States Parties, it is one of the most widely ratified multilateral treaties today. Its main purpose is the identification and collective protection of cultural and natural heritage sites of “outstanding universal value” (OUV). The Convention embodies the idea that some places are so special and important that their protection is not only the responsibility of the States in which they are located, but also a duty of the international community as a whole.

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Indigenous World 2020: UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)

The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (Permanent Forum) is an expert body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with the mandate to provide advice on Indigenous issues to the Council and through ECOSOC, to the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, raise awareness on Indigenous Peoples’ issues and promote the integration and  coordination of activities relating to Indigenous Peoples’ issues within the United Nations system. 

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Indigenous World 2020: The work of the UN Treaty Bodies and Indigenous Peoples Rights

The treaty bodies are the committees of independent experts in charge of monitoring the implementation by state parties of the rights protected in international human rights treaties. There are nine core international human rights treaties that deal with civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; racial discrimination; torture; discrimination against women; child rights; migrant workers’ rights; persons with disabilities; and enforced disappearances.

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Indigenous World 2020: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 to tackle the growing problem of global warming and the related harmful effects of a changing climate. The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994, and has near universal membership, with 197 ratifying Parties (196 States and one regional economic integration organisation). In 2015, the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement, a universal agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. By January 2020, 187 of the 197 Parties to the UNFCCC had ratified the Paris Agreement.[1]

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Indigenous World 2020: UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples is one of the 56 “special procedures” of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The special procedures are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The Special Rapporteur has a mandate to promote the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and relevant international human rights instruments; examine ways and means of overcoming existing obstacles to the full and effective protection of the rights of Indigenous Peoples; to promote best practices; to gather and exchange information from all relevant sources on violations of the human rights of Indigenous Peoples; and to formulate recommendations and proposals on measures and activities to prevent and remedy violations of those rights.

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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.

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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