Indigenous peoples in Tuvalu

Tuvalu voted to separate from the Gilbert Islands in 1974. On 1 October 1978, the island nation became independent. Tuvalu became a member of the United Nations in 2000.The four reef islands and five atolls, consisting of a mere 26 sq. kilometres, is one of the most densely populated independent states in the UN and also the second smallest in terms of population, with 11,000 citizens. No point on Tuvalu is more than 4.5 metres above sea level.

Tuvalu is a constitutional monarchy. The parliament (Te Fale o Palamene) consists of 15 members that are popularly elected every four years from eight constituencies. There are no formal political parties.

Subsistence farming and fishing are the primary economic activities. One of the main sources of revenue is the sale of its domain name “TV” for commercial use.

Tuvalu is a party to and has ratified two international human rights treaties – the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Yearly update

Read the 2012 yearbook article on indigenous peoples in Tuvalu to learn about major developments and events during 2011 (internal link)

Download the 2010 yearbook article on indigenous peoples in Tuvalu to read more about major developments and events during 2009


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
CVR: 81294410

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