• Indigenous peoples in Greenland

    Indigenous peoples in Greenland

    The indigenous peoples of Greenland are Inuit and make up a majority of the Greenlandic population. Greenland is a self-governing country within the Danish Realm, and although Denmark has adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Greenland’s population continue to face challenges.
  • Peoples

    50,000 out of Greenland’s 56,000 peoples are Inuit
  • Rights

    2007: Denmark adopts the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Children's rights

    2010: The Government of Greenland and UNICEF Denmark enter into a partnership agreement to raise awareness of children's rights in Greenland

International Conventions

International conventions that are signed and ratified by Denmark are also valid in Greenland – unless specifically stated otherwise. Greenland is thus covered by all the important conventions concerning human rights, including the two Covenants and ILO Convention 169. This latter was ratified by Denmark following a statement by the Home Rule that the Convention was already covered by existing national mechanisms.

Denmark, and hence also Greenland, is a member of the Arctic Council. A representative of the Greenland Government is always a member of the official Danish government delegation. The same holds for a number of other international bodies such as the International Whaling Commission, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, etc. For more information about the Arctic Council, click here

Below are listed a number of relevant international and regional covenants, conventions, agreements etc. The ones Denmark is a party to are marked with a star (*):

  • ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous Peoples *
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) *
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR)*
  • Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)*
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)*
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (Denmark has ratified the Convention but with a territorial exclusion in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland)
  • Convention on the Law of the Sea *
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) *

Click here to read more about each convention and covenant.


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

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. The Indigenous World 2019.

Contact IWGIA

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

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