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Launch of the Indigenous World 2021

About the Indigenous World:

For 35 consecutive years the International work Group for Indigenous Affairs IWGIA has published The Indigenous World.

This publication is a one-of-a-kind documentation tool that offers a comprehensive yearly overview of the developments Indigenous Peoples experience around the world. The book also intends to serve as a source of inspiration and advocacy tool to raise global awareness of the rights of Indigenous Peoples, their struggles and their resilience. This 35th edition includes 62 regional and country reports and 20 reports on international processes and initiatives covered in this edition underscore these trends.

Since the 1st session of the UNPFII held in 2002, IWGIA has publicly launched The Indigenous World during the annual sessions of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The annual launching of the book provides a unique opportunity for IWGIA to organize a panel with indigenous leaders, UN mechanisms and other key stakeholders to address some of the core issues. identified in the articles in the book.

Register for the event today: https://bit.ly/3cCAAVV

2020 was an unprecedented year for the world’s population who experienced a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic. Indigenous Peoples – armed with knowledge and experience spanning generations from having faced contagious illnesses and other pandemics – responded to COVID-19 with traditional as well as innovative new methods for protection and prevention; all against the disproportionate discrimination and marginalization they face encounter against every day.

The evidence and experiences presented in this edition of the Indigenous World are overwhelmingly clear and similar: the rights, needs and challenges of Indigenous Peoples during the pandemic were simply not taken into consideration.

The book documents on how Indigenous Peoples were not only disproportionately impacted by the effects of COVID-19 and its consequences; but also faced increased repression by states that used the pandemic as a way to enact laws that further encroach on their rights. They continued to experience injustice as large companies appeared to be allowed to freely continue their activities, encroaching on Indigenous lands, while restrictions on the Indigenous Peoples’ own movement and freedom to use and protect their lands was repressively enforced.

The pandemic has indeed magnified challenges and inequalities that Indigenous Peoples face, but it has also shown us the incredible resilience of Indigenous Peoples who have addressed the pandemic through their self-determined protection mechanisms, through reviving food and trade systems and by tackling the critical need for culturally appropriate information in Indigenous languages, among other initiatives

In this context and as national governments are focusing on building back their economies to upend the damage of the global pandemic, many may opt for traditional ways of economic development with a focus on natural resources, large infrastructural projects, and extractive opportunities. Indigenous Peoples have long experienced threats to their lands, territories and natural resources from extractive industries and large industrial projects. A building back “better” economy that focuses on these sectors is again likely to have a disastrous impact on Indigenous Peoples and the systematic violation of their rights and livelihoods. Furthermore, it may jeopardize the international community’s aim to curb climate change.

Therefore, building back better initiatives need to take point of departure in the protection and respect of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and particularly the right to land, territories and natural resources, which are essential for their survival as distinct peoples.

If the world is committed in building back better, Indigenous Peoples’ solutions need to be heard as Indigenous communities and organizations hold knowledge essential in the design of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, taking advantage of their resilience capacities, knowledge, and practices, and with full respect of Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

Instagram Square Book launch event


Objectives of the side event

On the occasion of 20th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the launching of the Indigenous World will provide a virtual space to voice indigenous peoples’ views on how to ensure that their rights are protected and respected in the COVID 19 recovery strategies and that their resilience capacities and knowledge and practices are included in recovery programs and measures developed by States and International institutions.


IW2021 Launch flyer



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. Read The Indigenous World.

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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