Good (—) to one and all present here. I am here today to speak about the indigenous people around the world. There are 370 million Indigenous people across the world and spread over 90 countries. They belong to quite 5,000 different Indigenous peoples and speak over 4,000 languages. Indigenous people represent about 5% of the world’s population.
The overwhelming majority of them, i.e., 70% sleep in Asia. Although they need different customs and cultures, they face identical harsh realities: eviction from their ancestral lands, being denied the chance to specify their culture, physical attacks, and treatment as second-class citizens. Indigenous peoples are often marginalized and face discrimination in countries’ legal systems, leaving them even more at risk of violence and abuse.
Indigenous human rights defenders who speak out face intimidation and violence and these are often supported by the state. Additionally, individuals could also be physically attacked and killed only for belonging to Indigenous people. Peaceful efforts by Indigenous Peoples to keep up their cultural identity or exercise control over their traditional lands, which are often rich in resources and biodiversity, have led to accusations of treason or terrorism. Discrimination is the reason why Indigenous peoples comprise 15% of the world’s extreme poor. Globally, they also suffer higher rates of landlessness, malnutrition, and internal displacement than other groups.
Indigenous people have a strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources. They have distinct languages, beliefs, and cultures. They also have distinct political, social, and economic systems. They are often discriminated against and marginalized by every state. They hold, maintain, and develop their ancestral legacies and environments and have systems as distinct people.
These people also identify themselves as indigenous people. Indigenous people hold a special relationship with the land that they have lived for generations, for more than thousands of years. They have all essential and crucial knowledge as to how to manage natural resources sustainably and they act as custodians or guardians of the land for the following generations. According to them, losing their land means losing their identity.
Indigenous peoples’ land ownership rights are recognized under jurisprudence. States cannot relocate Indigenous Peoples without their free, prior, and consent and without offering them adequate compensation. The land that Indigenous Peoples continue to exist in is home to over 80% of our planet’s biodiversity and rich in natural resources, like oil, gas, timber, and minerals.
However, these lands are routinely appropriated, sold, leased, or just plundered and polluted by governments and personal companies. Many Indigenous Peoples have uprooted from their land thanks to discriminatory policies or armed conflict. Indigenous land rights activists face violence and even murder once they seek to defend their lands.
Human rights abuses associated with their land rights and culture have prompted growing numbers of Indigenous Peoples to go away from their traditional lands for towns and cities. interrupted from resources and traditions vital to their welfare and survival, many Indigenous People face even greater marginalization, poverty, disease, and violence – and sometimes, extinction as a nation. Thank you.
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