First UN Report on the State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Last week, the United Nations released its first report on “The State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.” The report finds significant disparities in basic human rights and development standards for indigenous peoples as compared to non-indigenous populations. For instance, in terms of economic rights in the United States, more than twice the percentage of Native Americans and Alaska Natives were found to live below the poverty line as compared to the total U.S. population. And women’s rights standards are even more disconcerting: Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to be raped or experience sexual violence than other women in the United States. Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International are working to pass several bills in Congress this upcoming year to address these severe and pervasive human rights disparities. Of course, Native American communities have long been aware of these injustices, and groups such as the Alaska Native Justice Center and the Native American Rights Fund have worked to promote and defend Native American human rights.

Native Am Woman

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2 Responses to “First UN Report on the State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples”

  1.  Diane Says:

    Indigenous right?

    Get Mexico out of our American territory.

    We don’t want Mexican Indians here. We never got along with them.

  2.  lesoltis Says:

    Thanks for your comment Diane. Indigenous rights are human rights, and I encourage you to think more critically about what the term ‘indigenous’ means in the context of the Americas. Human rights apply to all people regardless of borders that surround them. Native Americans are diverse people, and giving them titles of “Mexican” “American” or “Indian” is not only irrelevant to the issue of sexual violence, but it is also up to indigenous peoples to determine what they call themselves. Furthermore, the people who now find themselves within the territory of the United States are also diverse, and by speaking in the “we,” you are falsely asserting a unified voice and position for the purpose of excluding a certain ethnic group. Such assertions are dangerous and an insult to the spirit of human rights and democracy.

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