The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) joins the United Nations, countries around the world and other human rights organizations in recognizing and honoring the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, August 9, 2018. This year’s theme is 2018 Theme: Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement.

The General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on September 13, 2017, a major milestone with respect to the cooperation and solidarity between indigenous peoples and Member States.

According to the United Nations (  , there are about 370 million indigenous people living in 90 countries. Also, although indigenous people make up only about 5% of the world population, they unfortunately make up about 15% of the world’s poor.

The Declaration is the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of indigenous peoples. It embodies global consensus on the rights of indigenous peoples and establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for their survival, dignity, and well-being. It elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms, as they apply to the specific situation of indigenous peoples.

“On this annual observance, let us commit to fully realizing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the rights to self-determination and to traditional lands, territories and resources.” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Over the last decade, the implementation of the Declaration has achieved some major successes in at the national, regional and international levels. Despite the achievements, there continues to be a gap between the formal recognition of indigenous peoples and the implementation of policies on the ground.

“It is important that the global community continues to work in support of the world’s indigenous peoples to ensure the preservation of their cultures, systems, and languages,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC-USA Executive Director. “AHRC-USA is committed to promoting and advancing the human rights and human dignity of all of the world’s peoples, especially the indigenous peoples who continue to face challenges to fully exercising their human rights,” added Mr. Hamad.

To learn more about the World’s Indigenous Peoples, please visit

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