Indigenous peoples worldwide live in harsh conditions
An estimated 476 million Indigenous people live around the globe – making up about 5% of the overall population – yet they account for 15% of the world’s poor, and live more difficult lives than non-Indigenous people, according to figures from the UN and Anadolu Agency compiled information on Indigenous peoples living in various parts of the world from UN data and the Indigenous World-2022 report of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), a Danish-based NGO.
Aug. 9, which in 1982 saw the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, was later declared International World Indigenous Peoples Day. Celebrations are held on this day in many parts of the world.
The theme of the day this year is “the role of Indigenous women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge.”
In this context, at an online commemoration event, women representatives of Indigenous societies will share their experiences with the preservation and revitalization of knowledge in their own societies, and their role in transferring traditional ancestral culture.
Over 86% work in informal economy
Statistics on Indigenous people reveal the hardship of their living conditions.
Indigenous people generally lead more difficult lives than the rest of the world due to the destruction of their habitats and violence against them.
Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on Indigenous people
Indigenous people suffered from the pandemic in terms of both health and economically.
The international work group report revealed that human rights defenders fighting for Indigenous rights have also become targets.
Some 59% of the 358 human rights defenders killed in 2021 were people fighting for the rights of Indigenous peoples.
According to work group data, 88% of the population of Greenland is Indigenous, along with 80% of French Polynesia, 48% of Bolivia, 43.8% of Guatemala, and 36% of Nepal.
Asia stands out as the continent with the most Indigenous people.
China is followed by India with 104 million and Indonesia with 60 million.