Education for indigenous people

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UNESCO advocates for indigenous people to fulfill the rights needed to participate in their societies. Guided by the new UNESCO Policy on Engaging with Indigenous Peoples, UNESCO is committed to ensure the full inclusion of indigenous people in education.

Children and young people of indigenous families remain less likely to be enrolled in school or in training programmes and more likely to underperform than non-indigenous children.

Indigenous peoples are entitled to the right to education - both individually and collectively - as stipulated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) and in the ILO Convention Number 169 on the Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (1989).

UNESCO supports its Member States and collaborates with partners to ensure that the right to education for indigenous peoples is fulfilled. This includes monitoring the right to education for all, including indigenous peoples and ensuring equitable access to lifelong learning and quality and relevance of teaching and learning. Through an inclusive approach, UNESCO calls on countries to remove the barriers that limit the presence, participation and achievement in education of indigenous peoples.

UNESCO advocates for the education of indigenous peoples through, for example, the celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

UNESCO manages knowledge and promotes effective practices, such as the Effective Literacy Practices for Indigenous Peoples Platform developed by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning.