Over the past two decades, international efforts have been made to improve the rights of indigenous peoples, to bring awareness to their issues, including their engagement in developing policy and programmes in order to improve their livelihoods. In the First Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (1995 – 2004) the United Nations created the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues as well as the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples. During the Second Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2005 – 2015), there have been further initiatives such as the creation of Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007 was a major step for the United Nations as the Declaration had been debated for over twenty years. This publication sets out to examine the major challenges for indigenous peoples to obtain adequate access to and utilization of quality health care services. It provides an important background to many of the health issues that indigenous peoples are currently facing. Improving indigenous peoples’ health remains a critical challenge for indigenous peoples, States and the United Nations.
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