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.

Addressing the Rights and Protection for Women and Children in the Isr...

Introduction For decades Israel and Palestine has been fighting over Gaza, declaring their “...

read more

Illiteracy: A Curse on Development

The United Nations defines illiteracy as “the inability to read and write a simple message in an...

read more


United Nations ECOSOC Youth Forum 2015

The United Nations ECOSOC Youth Forum 2015 was held from 2-3 February 2015 at United Nations Headq...

read more

Love Is Love

Interview with Tea Hodaj, a young filmmaker from Albania. What is your video about? My video is about love. Since we all have a different concept of love, but we all manifest it somehow in the same way, I want to show a “different” kind of love and its compliance with the massive c...

read more


BE POSITIVE AND LIVE RIGHT

Hi guys, True happiness comes about when you know you are doing the right thing for the right course. I have been volunteering as a Scout Trainer and a mentor since 2012 to date, I feel good whenever I am training and mentoring the youthful generation knowing that am touching somebody`...

read more

Effectiveness of Body Cameras

I read this interesting article in Time magazine where the author stopped to compare the year of 2...

read more


What would I want to change?

HIV activists from Asia and the Pacific talk about their lives and the challenges they and others faced as adolescents. They are then asked "what would you like to change?" about HIV policies, offering an insight into the challenges thousands of adolescents face across the region.

read more

World Cancer Day 2015: 'Not Beyond Us' (Part 2)

In the preceding part of this post, I gave a synopsis of what cancer is, parts of the body that co...

read more


World Cancer Day 2015: 'Not Beyond Us' (Part 1)

Cancer is a neoplastic disease that affects the following parts of the human body: Colon, Liver, C...

read more

Zero Tolerance For Female Genital Mutilation (Part 2)

Female Genital Mutilation has no health benefits, rather it has a couple of severe immediate effec...

read more


show more