International day of the world’s indigenous peoples 2020, indigenous peoples day, happy indigenous peoples day

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on the 9th of August annually around the globe to bring awareness and to conserve the basic rights of the Indigenous Peoples. The event also explains the accomplishments and contributions of the native people to enhance world issues like environmental protection.

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples focuses on enriching the culture and efforts that autochthonous folks experience round the world. The concept was announced by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 1994. The UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in 1982, marked the first day of the meeting.

Background of World Indigenous Peoples day

Indigenous people are the natives who live in a particular place, that is, the tribal people who are the earliest known inhabitants of that particular area. They maintain various traditions and other cultural aspects and beliefs which are associated with the region. Indigenous Peoples sum up to be more than 5% of the world’s population but account for 15% of the poorest, and due to various factors, these languages and cultures are on the verge of extinction.

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on August 9th every year as a tribute to the first UN operative association on Indigenous Populations assembly in Geneva in 1982. The day was first articulated by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 1994, to be celebrated every year during the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples from 1995 to 2004. In 2004, the council announced a Second International Decade, with the theme of “A Decade for Action and Dignity,” from 2005-2015.

In April 2000, the human rights department proposed a solution to establish the UN Permanent council on Indigenous Issues that was affected by the Economic and Social Council. About 2680 indigenous languages have been labeled endangered and on the verge of extinction, as per the reports in 2016. Hence, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) designated 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

What do people do on World Indigenous People’s day

People from across the world contribute to raising awareness by spreading the UN’s information on indigenous peoples. The activities include educational conferences and other activities for appreciation and an improved understanding of the indigenous people. These are celebrated at the UN headquarters and are telecasted live. The event is scheduled to start from 10.00 am and continue till 5.00 pm. Natives from different regions come together and take part in these activities, explaining their traditions and cultures.

World’s Indigenous People Day 2020

Indigenous Peoples, today, are arguably among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in the world. The international community is now recognizing and taking initiatives required to protect their basic rights and helping them maintain their distinct cultures and way of life.

Though these communities already face a host of challenges, the recent COVID-19 pandemic is worsening the situation. They already experience poor access to healthcare, higher rates of disease, lack of access to essentials, sanitation, and other key preventive measures, like clean water, disinfectant, etc. The existing facilities and services are often under-equipped and under-staffed. Moreover, these people face stigma and discrimination throughout their lives.

Indigenous peoples’ traditional lifestyles can also pose a threat at this time in preventing the spread of the virus. Most indigenous communities regularly organize large traditional gatherings to mark special events such as harvest, coming of age ceremonies, etc. It puts the lives of these people at risk, especially the Elders.

Furthermore, these communities already face food insecurity due to various reasons. With the loss of their traditional livelihood, a huge number of these people will be adversely affected by the pandemic. The situation of indigenous women is even worse; oftentimes they are the main providers of food to their families.

Hence, this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is extremely crucial as these people’s situation is worse than ever. They need our support now; otherwise, this pandemic will cost us many of the lives of these Indigenous Peoples, and some may even be lead to extinction.


Hence, we can conclude that the UN’s initiative is a very thoughtful and extremely necessary step needed for the safe survival of the Indigenous Peoples of the world. The lifestyle of these people was already severely challenging, and the recent pandemic is making it worse. If nothing is done for the betterment of the situation, hundreds of languages, cultures of these communities will go extinct.

As responsible, considerate human beings it’s our duty that we take an active part in spreading awareness regarding these initiatives by the UN and share the information regarding these communities, and their issues as much as possible. Through joined efforts, genuine care, and empathy, we can tackle these difficult situations and work towards creating a better world.

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