Indigenous Peoples' Rights

(Foreground) Kâhu Pataxó (also called Maicon Santos Soares), 19, from the indigenous village of Pataxó de Coroa Vermelha in Brazil’s north-eastern Bahia State, speaks at the ‘Listen & Act’ gathering at UNICEF House.© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-0676/Susan Markisz


Who are Indigenous Peoples?

The word ‘Indigenous’ can be traced back to a Latin word that means native or original inhabitant. When we talk about indigenous peoples we often talk about groups that have a deep relationship with their land and natural environments, and have a culture and language that is different from other parts of the population in a country. But there is no definition of indigenous peoples that everyone agrees on. In fact, it is now generally agreed that no one can define an individual or a group as indigenous, except the group itself.

Indigenous peoples live in every region of the world and account for a large share of the cultural diversity in the world today. From Inuits in the northern arctic regions to Māoris in New Zealand, it is estimated that there are around 370 million indigenous peoples in 90 countries, representing as many as 5,000 different indigenous cultures.

Indigenous peoples have diverse cultures which are often based on a spiritual relationship with the land and natural resources. The language is an important part of their identity and there is a rich variety of arts, rituals and performances that is passed from generation to generation. Land, resources, art and language and more are considered to be the collective property of the group rather than individuals.

More action, less talk

In the last decades, the international community has paid more attention to the rights of indigenous peoples, and many indigenous groups are active in advocating for their own rights and in protecting their land and identity. There are many good examples where indigenous groups work with governments to protect their land and way of life.

However, there is still a long way to go. Despite all the progress in recognizing their rights, indigenous peoples continue to suffer from discrimination and exclusion. That will not change unless everyone, individuals and governments, start putting words into action and start realizing the rights of indigenous peoples.

Movie Review: 50/50

Movie Review: “50/50” “50/50”, inspired by the true story of its screenplay writer Will...

read more

Our Children

Corrugated iron shelters poverty. Cold smoke escapes cold bodies. Warmth is a luxury. Safety is a...

read more


stand_strong

"I will . Never give in to the stereotypes associated with young people . Promote the positive work...

read more

Ukraine: complicated and unstable situation in the ATO area

Weekly news digest (December 3 – 9) The situation in the ATO area remains complicated and...

read more


Do one thing!

Do one thing! I’ve been thinking about this urging affirmation for some time now, trying to figure out what I would like to urge people to do. And I reached the conclusion that I would like people to try and see things from others perspective. To begin with, this activity, of trying to w...

read more

Congratulations Malala! A young girl against Taliban.

Terrorism is hurting our world, it’s harming our children, and it’s killing us every day. Thou...

read more


MELODY OF LIFE

Life is like a melodious song waiting to be played or sung; Be it an elegy, Be it a lullaby,...

read more

Basketball Is Something That Anyone Can Enjoy With A Little Advice

Basketball is a game which is enjoyed by many people in many countries. Each player who plays it has certain skills that they perform in order to help their team win. If you want to take your game to the next level, the following tips should help. Bounce passes are important in the game of bas...

read more


Gender Equality. Then, Now and the Future.

Opened eyes, closed eyes. When I open my eyes, I can see the gender equality revolution. Suddenly...

read more

Why I Believe You Can Be a Human Rights Advocate

By age seventeen, Nam* had been forced into marrying a stranger, bearing his child, and risking he...

read more


show more