International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. They have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Despite their cultural differences, indigenous peoples from around the world share common problems related to the protection of their rights as distinct peoples.

Indigenous peoples today, are arguably among the most vulnerable groups of people in the world. The international community now recognizes that special measures are required to protect their rights and maintain their distinct cultures and way of life. This International Day is an opportunity to raise public awareness of their precarious situation. The focus of the International Day in 2018 is Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement.

As a result of loss of their lands, territories and resources due to development and other pressures, many indigenous peoples migrate to urban areas in search of better prospects of life, education and employment. They also migrate between countries to escape conflict, persecution and climate change impacts. Under the mandate of UNESCO, several programmes address migration and movement issues that are relevant for indigenous peoples. UNESCO focuses on inclusion and diversity to help to combat all forms of discrimination.

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