IWGIA Strategy Indigenous Peoples

IWGIA is a non-governmental human rights organisation promoting and defending Indigenous Peoples’ collective and individual rights. We have supported our partners in this fight for more than 50 years. We work through a global network of Indigenous Peoples’ organisations and international human rights bodies. We promote recognition, respect and implementation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, including the right to self-determination by virtue of which they can freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. 

Indigenous Peoples today, in all parts of the world, are still fighting discrimination and targeted violence, struggling against a shrinking civic space, lacking recognition of their rights as peoples, and suffering from land dispossession, evictions and the negative consequences of climate change and conservation efforts. Indigenous Peoples are also disproportionately suffering the effects of COVID-19 and its consequences, including increased repression by states that are using the pandemic as a way to enact laws that further encroach on their rights. For Indigenous Peoples, the long-term consequences of the pandemic may be devastating.

This Institutional Strategy analyses and exposes these challenges in order to effectively address them.

It outlines IWGIA’s vision, mission and core ambitions for the next five years, describing our pathway to fostering lasting change. Our pathway places our partners at the very centre and outlines our three core areas of work: documenting, advocating and supporting empowerment – what we call our Triangle of Change. The Institutional Strategy further outlines our implementation priorities, which specifically address the issues facing Indigenous Peoples, through our interrelated thematic programme areas, augmented by three cross-cutting methodologies.

Our Triangle of Change is our key instrument for fostering change by:

  • Documenting the situation of Indigenous Peoples and the human rights violations they experience, thus contributing to knowledge and awareness of their circumstances and promoting respect for their individual and collective rights;
  • Advocating for change from decision-makers at local, national and international levels, including active engagement in international networks; and
  • Supporting the empowerment of Indigenous Peoples’ own organisations to act in order to claim and exercise their rights and to amplify the Indigenous Peoples’ movements at local, national and international levels.
Despite being recognised for their environmental stewardship, Indigenous Peoples are not only disproportionally affected by climate change, they are also increasingly negatively impacted by top-down mitigation and adaptation efforts on their lands and territories. IWGIA’s Climate Change programme strives to ensure that the impact of climate change and climate action on Indigenous Peoples’ rights is promptly addressed and remedied, while simultaneously guaranteeing that Indigenous Peoples themselves are acknowledged and consulted as key actors in realising their rights and contributors to climate change solutions through their knowledge.

Indigenous Peoples are losing their lands every day, and this has particularly devastating effects on Indigenous women. Indigenous Peoples are being criminalised, harassed or even killed for attempting to protect their territories. IWGIA’s Land Defence and Defenders programme leverages Indigenous Peoples’ efforts to safely and securely claim and exercise their rights to land, territories and natural resources at national, regional and international levels.

Indigenous territorial self-government or autonomy is an exercise in self-determination. IWGIA’s Territorial Governance programme reinforces the creation and consolidation of Indigenous self-governance and autonomy. It promotes dialogue with national authorities and international human rights mechanisms for the recognition of Indigenous governments and supports their articulation of diverse autonomous experiences.

Indigenous Peoples’ rights have been recognised at the international level. However, for Indigenous Peoples’ rights to be respected and protected, they must be recognised and operationalised at national and local levels. IWGIA’s Global Governance programme strengthens global-to-local linkages between national and international processes across all its thematic programmes. Knowledge of international processes and legal instruments for redress of human rights violations helps strengthen the position and demands of Indigenous Peoples towards states, enabling them to seek redress. This programme also strengthens Indigenous Peoples’ participation in and contribution to relevant global decision-making processes.
IWGIA Strategy Indigenous Peoples



IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting and defending Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Read more.

For media inquiries click here

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for Indigenous Peoples worldwide. Read The Indigenous World.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Contact IWGIA

Prinsessegade 29 B, 3rd floor
DK 1422 Copenhagen
Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
E-mail: iwgia@iwgia.org
CVR: 81294410

Report possible misconduct, fraud, or corruption

 instagram social icon facebook_social_icon.png   youtuble_logo_icon.png  linkedin_social_icon.png twitter-x-icon.png 

NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you do not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more

I understand