2020 report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the rights of indigenous peoples

14 July 2020
Issued by:
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
At the 45th session of the HRC


This report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 42/19. It contains information on relevant developments relating to human rights bodies and mechanisms and outlines the activities undertaken by OHCHR between 1 May 2019 and 31 May 2020.


Towards the end of the period under review, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic had spread across the world and had made plain the continued vulnerability of indigenous peoples. Where statistical data is available, it shows that indigenous peoples were among those most affected within the States they inhabit. Despite the clear articulation of the norms providing protection to indigenous peoples, there is a wide gap between those norms and their implementation.

The global health crisis further highlighted that the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in matters that concern them, including in the elaboration of responses to pandemics, is a human rights responsibility that many States, in which indigenous peoples live, are still failing to meet.

In order to address those concerns, OHCHR has continued to provide guidance and technical assistance to Member States, indigenous peoples, civil society organizations and United Nations bodies. Particular attention has been given to strengthening States’ efforts to involve indigenous peoples in national and international initiatives that concern them.