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.