Indigenous Peoples and the UN: Triumphs & Tragedies
It has been 13 years since the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) began holding annual meetings amongst the representatives of the world’s estimated 370 million indigenous peoples from over 90 different countries. The meetings mark a global effort to address the rights of indigenous people and unprecedented progress has been made. Nonetheless, there is ongoing frustration amongst indigenous peoples who continue to represent the poorest of the poor, the most marginalised, and the most discriminated against by a large part of society.
A recent study conducted by UNPFII entitled ‘State of World's Indigenous Peoples’ states that the situation of indigenous peoples in many parts of the world continues to be critical. Indigenous peoples in the world face systemic discrimination and exclusion from political and economic life; they continue to be over-represented among the illiterate and the destitute; they are displaced by wars and environmental disaster; indigenous peoples are dispossessed of their ancestral lands and deprived of their resources necessary for survival, both physical and cultural.
Photo: Indigenous youth attending a UNPFII session. Credit: Dev Kumar
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Dev Kumar Sunuwar
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