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.
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.
Indigenous peoples have rights over their traditional knowledge (TK), traditional cultural expressions (TCEs), and genetic resources (GRs), including associated intellectual property rights, as recognized in the UNDRIP, Article 31. However, because of their unique characteristics, indigenous peoples’ intellectual property rights do not comfortably fit, and for the most part are unprotected, under existing intellectual property laws. Consequently, indigenous peoples’ intangible cultural heritage is often treated as “public domain” and misappropriation of their intellectual property is widespread and ongoing.