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International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2019

ROME, Aug 7 2019 (IPS) - There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They live in all geographic regions and represent 5000 different cultures. These people are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to others yet are being forced to give up their ways of life.

In Latin America, for example, 40% of all indigenous peoples now live in urban areas – they account for 80% of those populations in some countries. Globally, they represent 5% of the world’s population, yet account for 15% of all of those in poverty.

Indigenous people speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s 7000 languages. These languages are extensive and complex systems of knowledge that are central to their identity, their cultures, worldviews and expressions of self-determination.

Tragically, many indigenous languages are under threat, as we lose one of these languages every two weeks. According to UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 230 languages went extinct between 1950 and 2010. Today, a third of the world’s languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers left.

The 9th of August commemorates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year’s theme will focus on the current situation of indigenous languages around the world, aiming to highlight the critical need to revitalize, preserve and promote indigenous languages to safeguard the life of indigenous cultures for future generations.

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  • Stephen Owusu


    The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people defines individual and collective rights of native people, which includes their ownership rights to cultural and ceremonial expression, identity, language, employment, health, education and other issues. It emphasized the rights of Indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions, and to pursue their development in
    keeping with their own needs and aspirations. It proscribes discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them and their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic and social development.

    In contrast to a group that have occupied a place more recently, native people are
    the original owners and caretakers of a given region who have, proven genealogical ties to that land. And in view of this, the rights to self-autonomy and determination of indigenous people must be protected and upheld in their localities. Their rights need to be protected as well as prevent their displacement from their lands and separation from their culture, traditions and ultimate future.

    The goal of the Declaration is to encourage countries to work alongside indigenous
    peoples to solve global issues, such as developmental, multicultural democracy and decentralization. And according to Article 31, there is a major emphasis that the indigenous people will be able to protect their cultural heritage and other aspects of their culture and tradition in order to preserve their heritage from over controlling nation-states. And I posit that the international day to worlds indigenous people is salutary to the rights of natives to promote and develop their institutional structures and distinctive customs in line with international human rights standards. And in view of emphasizing on indigenous language, protection against displacement and urban
    migration and preservation of rights should incessantly be centered

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