The Rights of indigenous peoples in Asia

This report seeks to draw a realistic picture of major trends and challenges, and identifies important new opportunities in the framework of the new global agendas on sustainable development and climate action, which call for specific attention regarding the rights and concerns of indigenous peoples.

Two thirds of the world’s indigenous peoples are estimated to live in Asia, in other words approximately 260 million people representing 2,000 distinct civilizations and languages.

The situation of these people shows important commonalities and consequent similar challenges concerning their persisting marginalization, which has cultural, social, economic and political dimensions.

The fact that indigenous peoples continue to be among the poorest of the poor, even though sustained growth and poverty reductions efforts of the region have significantly contributed to declining poverty rates, is a stark reminder of the unique challenges faced by indigenous women and men.

This study aims to inform efforts mounted for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change, while highlighting the key relevance of rights-based approaches in ensuring that indigenous peoples are not left behind and can play their role as change agents.