International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 2021: Theme, History and Significance
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 2021: Globally, more than 86% of indigenous peoples work in the informal economy as compared to 66% for their non-indigenous counterparts. COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and aggravates various existing inequalities affecting populations across the world that were already suffering from poverty, illness, discrimination, financial insecurity, etc.
The day recognise the efforts and achievements that indigenous people make to improve the issues of the world like environmental protection etc. This day not only focuses on the indigenous population but also on the current situation with indigenous languages around the world.
In 2021, the day is commemorated virtually. Permanent Forum organised a virtual commemoration on Indigenous Issues. Speakers to discuss redesigning a new social contract for indigenous peoples, their own forms of governance, their life must be respected and based on their free, prior, and informed consent.
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 2021: Theme
The theme of 2021 is "Leaving No One Behind: Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract."
The theme of International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 2019 was ‘‘Indigenous Languages”. The aim of the theme is to highlight the critical need to revitalise, preserve and promote indigenous languages. Also, the need is to promote good practices through expert or interactive panels via presenting innovative initiatives on indigenous languages. On this day, the event will also promote and showcase creative videos on indigenous languages at the United Nations visitor's lobby.
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples: History
This day is celebrated on 9 August annually to recognise the first UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations meeting in Geneva in 1982. On 23 December, 1994, the UN General Assembly decided to observe 9 August as the International Day of the Worlds Indigenous Peoples. As this is the International decade day of the World's Indigenous People. The Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People was proclaimed by the assembly in 2004 and it was decided to continue to observe annually International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. The goal of the decade was to strengthen cooperation internationally for solving problems basically faced by the indigenous peoples mainly in the areas like culture, education, health, human rights, and environment, social and economic development.
The Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution in April 2000 to establish the Permanent UN Forum on Indigenous Issues that was showcased by the Economic and Social Council. The forum mainly wants to focus on and discuss the issues related to culture, economic and social development, education, environment, health, human rights, etc.
What are Indigenous Peoples?
According to the UN, over 476 million indigenous peoples living in 90 countries across the world and accounting for 6.2 percent of the global population. These are the peoples who inherit and practice unique cultures and methods of people related to the environment. Their social, cultural, economic, and political features are different from dominant societies in which they live. Indigenous peoples with the difference in the culture also share common problems related to the protection of their rights as distinct peoples. According to history, the rights of indigenous peoples have always been violated. They are among those groups of people who are most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the world. Therefore, the international community recognises special measures that are required to protect the rights of indigenous peoples and to maintain their distinct cultures.
According to the UN, across the world, 47% of all indigenous peoples in employment have no education as compared to 17% of their non-indigenous counterparts. This gap is wider for women.
We can't ignore the fact that language plays an important role in the daily lives of people. It is one of the finest ways to communicate with each other. It is important in the areas like human rights protection, peacebuilding, and sustainable development. Due to various factors, languages in the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate and most of them are indigenous languages. For these threats only, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution (A/RES/71/178) on 'Rights of Indigenous Peoples' by proclaiming it as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.