Voices of indigenous peoples must be heard, UN expert says

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Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

The voices of indigenous peoples must be heard and they must be consulted on issues that affect them, including rights to land and resources.

The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz made the appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

According to the UN, an estimated 370 million indigenous peoples living in 90 countries make up 15 per cent of the world's poor.

There are however policies at the domestic and international levels that could help to advance the rights of indigenous peoples, Ms Tauli-Carpuz noted.

But, the expert added, there are still numerous obstacles preventing them from fully enjoying those rights.

"The nearly universal disadvantageous social and economic conditions of indigenous peoples as compared to the economic and social conditions of the majority societies in which they live present a barrier to the full exercise of their human rights."

Many indigenous peoples struggle to remain on their lands and retain the right to their natural resources, according to the UN, while others have been removed from their lands, denied their languages and traditional ways.

Stéphanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’14″

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