Indigenous peoples: interculturalism and rights

Indigenous people

Region countries have Instruments on H. Indigenous people

Policies and instruments

There are more than 800 indigenous peoples in Latin America, with an estimated population of 58 million in 2018, characterized by their wide demographic, social, territorial and political diversity; some remain in voluntary isolation, while others have integrated into large urban settlements. As part of a global process, the tenacious resistance of indigenous peoples is currently expressed in the establishment of new political and territorial realities, which are framed by the existence of international standards on right, mandatory for States. Despite undeniable advancements in the region, many gaps persist and inequalities remain deep, reflecting the structural discrimination that affects these peoples.

The Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development undeniably underscores the commitment of the States to further advance the implementation of indigenous peoples' rights as a priority issue for the deepening of their democracies. This process aligns with the reflection and critical view of development and the growing conviction that this should be centered on the value of equality and cultural diversity. Consequently, the States have endorsed seven specific priority measures for indigenous peoples, while recognizing that the situation of these peoples must be viewed in a cross-cutting and comprehensive manner in all the measures outlined in the Consensus. In this manner, the Consensus reinforces and complements the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) regarding indigenous peoples, particularly measures 6.25, 6.26, 6.27 and 8.16, on population dynamics, territory and health.

Priority Measures

  • H.85 - Indigenous peoples rights

    Respect and implement the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as Convention No. 169 of the International Labour Organization on indigenous and tribal peoples —and call on those countries that have not already done so to sign it and ratify it— adapting legal frameworks and formulating the policies necessary for their implementation, with the full participation of these peoples, including indigenous peoples that live in cities.
  • H.86 - Indigenous peoples and demographic dynamics.

    Consider the special demographic dynamic of indigenous peoples in public policy design, with special emphasis on indigenous peoples threatened with extinction, those who have no contact with the outside world, those living in voluntary isolation or that are in a phase of initial contact, and respect their right to self-determination.
  • H.87 - Traditional medicine and indigenous health practices.

    Guarantee indigenous peoples’ right to health, including sexual rights and reproductive rights, and their right to their own traditional medicines and health practices, especially as regards reducing maternal and child mortality considering their socio-territorial and cultural specificities as well as the structural factors that hinder the exercise of this right.
  • H.88 - Indigenous peoples and territorial rights

    Respect and guarantee the territorial rights of indigenous peoples, including those of peoples living in voluntary isolation and those in the initial phase of contact, with special attention to the challenges presented by extractive industries and other major global investments, mobility and forced displacements, and design policies that facilitate free, prior and informed consultation on matters that affect these peoples, pursuant to the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • H.90 - Right to communication and information of indigenous peoples

    Guarantee indigenous peoples’ right to communication and information, ensuring that national statistics respect the principle of self-identification, as well as the generation of knowledge and reliable and timely information on indigenous peoples through participatory processes, with reference to their requirements and international recommendations relating to these issues.