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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.

OHCHR - COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples' Rights

UN OHCHR Report cover - COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples' Rights

The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting indigenous peoples, exacerbating underlying structural inequalities and pervasive discrimination. These serious impacts need to be specifically addressed in the response to and aftermath of this crisis.1

Reaction by States to the pandemic has been mixed, with some States rolling out COVID-19 programmes specifically focusing on indigenous peoples. Others have been providing a more limited level of support and some States are failing to adopt specific policies and at times neglecting even to include indigenous peoples in general COVID-19 responses. At the same time, indigenous peoples, as active agents and drivers of change, are finding their own solutions to respond to the health crisis, relying on traditional knowledge and practices,2 through their own representative institutions or self-government, as noted by indigenous representatives from several countries.

Read the full PDF from OHCHR

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Joint Statement of Network of Indigenous Women’s in Asia (NIWA) and Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)

Photo: IWGIA

COVID-19 Pandemic Multiplies Burden and Vulnerabilities of Indigenous Women in Asia

Thailand, June 22 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened humanity and wellbeing globally. The severity of its impact on Indigenous Peoples, especially Indigenous women and girls, Indigenous persons with disability and the elderly are disproportionate and grave in Asia. They are facing aggravated health risks, food insecurity, loss of employment and livelihood, increased violence against Indigenous Women, and threats to their lives due to military campaign and intensive attack on their lands and territories.

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Map of Russia, with Norilsk marked - produced by IWGIA

Russian oil spill exposes history of Indigenous Peoples’ rights violations

On 29 May an estimated 20,000 tons of diesel fuel leaked into the soil and natural water system near the city of Norilsk in northern Siberia after a fuel storage tank belonging to a daughter company of Russian nickel and copper giant Nornickel collapsed. A few days later, on 3 June, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the incident a federal scale disaster.

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International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission: Indigenous Peoples in Chittagong Hill Tracts experiencing Human Rights Violations

Press Statement: International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission

June 26, 2020, Dhaka

The International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission is alarmed at the reports of allegations of human rights violations, especially against the indigenous peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few months, as the pandemic spread into the three hill districts, widespread human rights violations have been reported by the security forces and the police, as well as vigilante groups, which includes cases of harassment, intimidation, arbitrary house searches, attack on religious places of worship, abduction and threats against indigenous leaders, activists and prisoners. While the pandemic has affected the indigenous people in various ways in terms of food shortage and access to medical services, the harassment and intimidation by the security forces and the activities of these vigilante groups have continued to aggravate the situation.

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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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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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