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IWGIA is following the situation of indigenous peoples and their rights. Get the latest updates, alerts, stories and up-to-date facts here. Click here for more news.

Indigenous realities in a COVID-19 world: Around the globe

Reassessing the situation for Indigenous People in a COVID-19 world

As the world has experienced the outbreak and rapid spread of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic over the first quarter of 2020, IWGIA has worked to monitor how the situation has developed and the impacts the pandemic has had on Indigenous Peoples. While recognising the many threats and heightened risks for Indigenous Peoples, it is also important to note that Indigenous Peoples are responding spontaneously to the pandemic using self-determined protection mechanisms. Indigenous peoples know very well that they are at risk and highly vulnerable both to human rights violations as well as to viral infections. They have for generations learned how to protect themselves to survive and thus become strong and resilient communities.

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Statement from Indigenous Women’s Organisations of Nepal on COVID-19

The WHO has declared the outbreak of COVID 19 as a global pandemic. The entire world has been caught unprepared to cope with this pandemic. Indigenous Peoples to healthcare, essential services, sanitation, information and other preventive measures like clean water, food, medicines etc. Indigenous Peoples possess their own distinct tradition, culture, and religion and have religious faith worshiper of ancestors, lands, territories and resources live in both urban and rural areas with their own identity.

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Some aspects of Amazigh life in the context of COVID-19

Amazighs living in the various Tamazgha countries (North Africa and the Sahara) consider the national public media (especially TV) to be unreliable. Therefore, when they need information, they generally get it from foreign television stations broadcast by satellite and Internet networks. Word of mouth and the "Amazigh telephone", i.e. the informal flow of information in the Amazigh language, also work very well.

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Indigenous realities in a COVID-19 world: Africa

The spread of COVID-19 in Africa, so far, has reportedly been lower and caused fewer fatalities than on other continentsbut the World Health Organisation (WHO) fears a rapid acceleration of the spread of the pandemic in the coming months.i This would have devastating outcome due to the regions fragile health-care systems and particularly devastating consequences for the marginalised and vulnerable Indigenous communitieon the continent. 

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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. The Indigenous World 2019.

Contact IWGIA

Prinsessegade 29 B, 3rd floor
DK 1422 Copenhagen
Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
CVR: 81294410

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