On this day, 9 August 2020 – the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples – IWGIA re-affirms its commitment to promote, protect and defend the rights of Indigenous Peoples at a time when the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the rise of populist leaders and a shrinking civil space for human rights, are posing tremendous threats to their lives, lands and traditions.
The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting indigenous peoples, exacerbating underlying structural inequalities and pervasive discrimination. These serious impacts need to be specifically addressed in the response to and aftermath of this crisis.1
Reaction by States to the pandemic has been mixed, with some States rolling out COVID-19 programmes specifically focusing on indigenous peoples. Others have been providing a more limited level of support and some States are failing to adopt specific policies and at times neglecting even to include indigenous peoples in general COVID-19 responses. At the same time, indigenous peoples, as active agents and drivers of change, are finding their own solutions to respond to the health crisis, relying on traditional knowledge and practices,2 through their own representative institutions or self-government, as noted by indigenous representatives from several countries.
Read the full PDF from OHCHR