Support Initiatives
November 12, 2020

Protect the lives and rights of indigenous peoples

Across the world, the rights of indigenous peoples are being violated. From North America to Australia to Latin America, members of indigenous nations are being heavily discriminated against and expelled from their ancestral lands, and those among them who mount challenges against their aggressors often face violent retaliations. 

In Latin America, for instance, indigenous peoples fighting to protect their lands from rising encroachment by farmers, governments, and giant corporations are being killed for their efforts to defend their territories and rights. In Colombia, two hundred and fifty one indigenous leaders have been murdered since the beginning of the year. Globally, an average of four indigenous leaders have been assassinated every week since 2015.  

In addition to spawning grave human rights violations, such attacks on indigenous peoples result in increasing environmental degradation and destruction of the forests and water bodies found in their territories which play a crucial role in maintaining the health of global ecosystems and mitigating the climate crisis. 

IWGIA is an NGO working to promote and defend the rights, liberties, and lands of 476 million indigenous people spread across 90 countries. 

Established in 1968 as a response to gross human rights and land violations against indigenous populations in the Amazon, IWGIA now partners up with indigenous peoples’ organisations from across the world to both raise awareness of and promote implementations and protections of their rights. It does so through extensive documentation of violation of their rights, empowering indigenous communities through capacity building, and engaging in advocacy efforts both on the national and international levels. 

In addition to providing financial support and capacity development to Indigenous people’s organisations, IWGIA works to establish a network of partners that collaborate and share knowledge in order to achieve a mutual goal. The organisation envisions a world “where all Indigenous Peoples fully enjoy their rights, participate and are consulted on decisions that affect their lives.” “We exist to ensure a world where Indigenous Peoples can sustain and develop their societies based on their own practices, priorities and visions,” the organisation’s mission statement reads. 

IWGIA’s three main areas of focus are land rights - working to end the theft and destruction of indigenous lands and natural resources that are crucial for their survival; climate action - ensuring that indigenous peoples are included in national and global efforts to tackle the climate crisis, recognising that indigenous populations are facing the brunt of its effects; and global governance - promoting inclusion of indigenous peoples in decision making processes that affect their lives and lands. 

Among its various projects and activities, IWGIA publishes a yearbook called The Indigenous World, which documents the lives, struggles, worldview, and resilience of indigenous populations around the world, and offers a comprehensive overview of developments in their experiences. 

Click here to download the free digital version of The Indigenous World 2020

To become a sustaining member of IWGIA - click here, or follow this link to make a donation. Both contributions will earn you a physical copy of this year’s The Indigenous World

You may also support IWGIA by sharing their news and publications on social media and subscribing to their newsletter and get the latest updates on the rights of indigenous peoples globally. 

To learn more about IWGIA’s work and its fight to guarantee justice for all indigenous peoples and protect their lands, click here

Image: United Nations Photo

Call to Action
Protect the lives and rights of indigenous peoples