Indigenous Peoples

Despite growing awareness of their rights, enshrined in the UN Declaration of 2007, many of the world's indigenous peoples remain threatened by poverty, marginalization, the loss of their natural habitat – and in some cases, by outright extinction. Their social indicators are almost universally lower than those of ethnically dominant groups. Their life expectancy is shorter; the burden of unemployment and disease affects them disproportionately.

As a corollary, indigenous voices are rarely heard in processes and decisions that concern them directly. Indigenous cultures and traditions are also rarely taken into account in the establishment and drafting of development strategies. IDLO is increasingly helping design rule-of-law based solutions to enhance indigenous peoples' access to justice. Our contribution in the field frequently intersects with our work on Sustainability and Economic Opportunity.

Towards Inclusive Natural Resource Management in Indonesia

Sustainable management of natural resources in Indonesia is negatively affected by overlapping land permits, with local governments, companies, local populations and indigenous people simultaneously claiming the same land. In East Kalimantan, the government has identified several nature reserve areas, but in the same area there are vast coal deposits, oil palm plantation sites and timber, gas, oil and coal extraction companies. Beyond this, local communities claim ownership of land based on historic or customary rights.

33rd Session of the Human Rights Council: The causes and consequences of violence against indigenous women and girls, including those with disabilities

STATEMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LAW ORGANIZATION

33rd Session of the Human Rights Council: The Causes and Consequences of Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls, Including Those with Disabilities

September 20, 2016

Geneva

Pages

Key Initiatives

  • Sustainable management of natural resources in Indonesia is negatively affected by overlapping land permits, with local governments, companies, local populations and indigenous people simultaneously claiming the same land. In East Kalimantan, the government has identified several nature reserve areas, but in the same area there are vast coal deposits, oil palm plantation sites and timber, gas, oil and coal extraction companies. Beyond this, local communities claim ownership of land based on historic or customary rights.

  • IDLO has been working with the European Union’s EUROsociAL program to provide assistance and support to Peru’s indigenous communities. Partnering with the Peruvian Ministry of Justice and judiciary, IDLO has helped create a model for legal orientation and institutional coordination on intercultural justice in the district of San Martín. The intervention sought to strengthen orientation services and legal aid, establishing a model for intercultural justice.

  • With 40 percent of its land covered by forests, Guatemala is richly endowed in biodiversity, and thus well-placed to benefit from a green economy. But as it seeks to make this transition, the country must protect the rights of indigenous communities, whose livelihoods depend on natural resources.

  • In order to ease the isolation experienced by some of Ecuador’s indigenous communities, IDLO has designed a legal model for accessing fair trade markets. The pilot phase of the initiative took place in two remote Quechua-speaking mountain settlements, Rumicorral and Ambrosio Lasso. Both communities had extremely low social indicators, with virtually no access to external markets for what was otherwise naturally organic and pesticide-free farming produce.

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