The rights of indigenous peoples must be protected and respected. | To read the full message by UNICEF, UNFPA and UNESCO’s Asia Pacific Regional Directors calling on countries to give greater priority to the fulfillment of the rights of indigenous peoples and to ensure that they are not left behind in efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, click here >>
In a message to mark the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNESCO’s Asia Pacific Regional Directors call on countries to give greater priority to the fulfillment of the rights of indigenous peoples and to ensure that they are not left behind in efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
There are around 370 million indigenous peoples worldwide, living across 90 countries and representing 5000 diverse cultures. They make up less than 5 per cent of humanity, yet represent around 15 per cent of the world’s poorest people. Two thirds of the world’s indigenous peoples live in Asia and the Pacific. They include groups often referred to as tribal peoples, hill tribes, adivasis, janajati, orang asli, aboriginal or native.
Indigenous peoples make significant contributions to humanity’s cultural, intellectual and economic wealth. Across Asia and the Pacific, they are sharing essential knowledge and skills in conservation and the sustainable use of land, forests and natural resources – key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Yet many indigenous peoples remain unprotected and unrecognized. They face forced assimilation, exclusion and systemic discrimination. Their cultures, stories and knowledge are in danger of being lost. Indigenous children, in particular, are often deprived of opportunities to fulfill their full potential. The promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to ensure a life of dignity for all, leaving no one behind, so special attention must be paid to the needs and rights of indigenous peoples.
The International Day of Indigenous Peoples, celebrated every year on 9 August, is an important opportunity for countries and societies around the world to learn about, and commit themselves to the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples. […]
Source: Unicef, “The rights of indigenous peoples must be protected and respected”
Date visited: 8 March 2020
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“The United Nations stands ready to support all initiatives aimed at realizing the rights and aspirations of indigenous peoples.” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres| Learn more >>
Why Do We Mark International Days?
International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. More information available here.
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