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United Nations Human Rights Day 2009

Discrimination against indigenous peoples

Indigenous Discrimination

The world’s indigenous population has been estimated at 370 million individuals living in more than 70 countries. Although representing 5 per cent of the world’s population, indigenous peoples account for 15 per cent of the world’s poorest people.

Indigenous peoples face many challenges and their human rights are frequently violated: they are denied control over their own development based on their own values, needs and priorities; they are politically under-represented and lack access to social and other services. They are often marginalized when it comes to projects affecting their lands and have been the victims of forced displacement as a result of ventures such as the exploitation of natural resources.

Since its adoption by the UN General Assembly in September 2007, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has become a key tool for the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples.

For more information and to see what the UN is doing to combat discrimination against indigenous peoples, click here.