International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Editorial spotlight: International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Date: Friday, August 4, 2017

On 9 August, we commemorate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples to bring to bring attention to the rights and achievements of indigenous peoples. This year, marks the tenth anniversary of the UN General Assembly adopting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples—the most comprehensive international agreement on indigenous peoples’ rights.

Joint Statement of the Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Peoples' Issues

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a unique opportunity for placing indigenous peoples at the centre of development as rights-holders and empowered agents of change. Read more»

Ten years since the Declaration, indigenous peoples around the world have made significant progress in advocating for their rights. Yet, there continues to be a gap between policy and action. Indigenous peoples continue to face exclusion, marginalization and major challenges in enjoying their basic rights. Indigenous women and girls are particularly vulnerable and continue to face disproportionate levels of discrimination and violence. More than one in three indigenous women are raped during their lifetime and they also show higher-than-average rates of maternal mortality, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Despite the continued threats to their security, ancestral lands and the environment upon which they depend, indigenous women often serve as transmitters of indigenous knowledge and cultures. Indigenous peoples have sophisticated ecological knowledge and adaptive responses to climate variability, including environmental practices that lower carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development makes the promise to “leave no one behind”. Indigenous peoples’ and indigenous women’s rights, voices and leadership must be equally protected and promoted, to achieve sustainable development for all.

On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, here are some voices of indigenous women from around the world.

Join the conversation by following #WeAreIndigenous and @UN_Women on Twitter. A social media package with sample messages in English, Spanish and French for sharing across platforms is available here.

From where I stand: “It is time that the world hears our voice”

Rayanne Cristine Maximo Franca. Photo: UN Women
Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Rayanne Cristine Maximo Franca is an indigenous youth activist from Brazil. Since leaving her home at 17, she has embarked on a relentless pursuit of rights and recognition for young indigenous women. Read more»

In numbers

33% of all people globally living in extreme rural poverty are from indigenous communities
One in three indigenous women are raped during their lifetime.

In focus: Indigenous women’s rights and activism

Debora Barros Fince, Tarcila Rivera, Mama Neema, Pratima Gurung, Oralia Ruano Lima  Credit, L-R:  UN Women/Nathan Beriro, UN Women/Ryan Brown, UN Women/Deepika Nath, UN Women/Ryan Brown, UN Women/Rosendo Quintos

On the occasion of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, UN Women highlighted the voices and activism of indigenous women from around the world, as they tackle the challenges of climate change, poverty, gender-based violence, armed conflicts and more. Read more»