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State of the World's Indigenous Peoples

image of State of the World's Indigenous Peoples

While indigenous peoples make up around 370 million of the world’s population – some 5 per cent – they constitute around one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people. Every day, indigenous communities all over the world face issues of violence and brutality. Indigenous peoples are stewards of some of the most biologically diverse areas of the globe, and their biological and cultural wealth has allowed indigenous peoples to gather a wealth of traditional knowledge which is of immense value to all humankind. The publication discusses many of the issues addressed by the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and is a cooperative effort of independent experts working with the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. It covers poverty and well-being, culture, environment, contemporary education, health, human rights, and includes a chapter on emerging issues.

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Emerging issues

The designation by the United Nations General Assembly of a First and Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People and the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are major demonstrations of the progress that has been achieved in terms of raising awareness in the global arena about indigenous peoples’ issues, and promoting the rights of indigenous peoples. The creation of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and the designation of a Special Rapporteur on the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people are also significant milestones in integrating indigenous issues and advocacy within the United Nations system. These accomplishments, however, have also revealed inadequacies within the United Nations system, which need to be addressed if the goal of mainstreaming indigenous issues within the system and its programmes is to be achieved in the future.

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