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Seminar: Indigenous peoples’ rights to autonomy and self government through self determination

An International Seminar to assess the global status and trends with regards to indigenous autonomies took place in Mexico City in March 2019. This meeting follows the work developed by indigenous organisations and the organising institutions over the last few years. Read the recommendations from it in this article.

The seminar: Indigenous peoples’ rights to autonomy and self-government 

The seminar was organised by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People and the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA). We would like to thank the National Indigenous Peoples’ Institute of Mexico for hosting the event, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tebtebba Foundation for their financial support for the event and its related activities.

During the seminar, indigenous representatives were able to exchange experiences on positive developments and current challenges facing them in the consolidation of their autonomy models. The seminar also provided support in terms of providing international human rights bodies and mechanisms with up-to-date information on the issue for their ongoing activities with regards to the operationalization of indigenous peoples’ right to autonomy and self-government. The seminar was attended by indigenous representatives from Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, México, USA, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Finland, Russia, Kenya, Nepal, India and Philippines. In total, 80 people attended who during days worked intensely in a programme divided into 10 panels.

Read the publication with 17 selected cases of indigenous autonomy and self-government here >>

Prior to the Seminar, this publication Indigenous peoples’ rights to autonomy and self-government >> was printed with the cases to be presented. In communicational terms, the Seminar was well disseminated on social networks, radio interviews and work is being done on the production of a short video, with the video team that IWGIA usually uses in Latin America.

The results of the seminar will be presented during a side event to take place during the upcoming session of the UN Permanent Forum and a report will soon be published with the final recommendations.



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

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Indigenous World

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

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