Covid-19 Recovery: Call for inputs from the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples for his report to be presented at the Human Rights Council in September

17 March 2021
Issued by
Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples
To inform the SR's report to be presented to the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, September 2021

The Special Rapporteur will devote his next thematic report to Covid-19 Recovery and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to be presented to the Human Rights Council at its 48th session in September 2021. The theme will build on the Rapporteur’s previous report to the UN General Assembly of 20 July 2020 (A/75/185), which addressed the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis on indigenous peoples’ rights. 

The current report will focus on State COVID-19 recovery laws and policies and the effect on indigenous peoples’ rights, including the rights to lands, territories and resources; economic, social and cultural rights; and rights to self-determination and autonomy. It is incumbent on Member States to address the needs of indigenous peoples in their recovery plans and establish mechanisms for dialogue in order to implement culturally appropriate COVID-19 responses.

The Special Rapporteur requested inputs from Member States and inter-governmental entities, UN agencies, indigenous peoples and organisations, civil society actors, humanitarian and development organisations, national human rights institutions, business representatives and other stakeholders, to contribute to the preparation of the report. Submissions could be made to by 17 March 2021 in English, French or Spanish.

Submissions will be published on the mandate webpage on the OHCHR website, unless otherwise indicated in your submission.

The Special Rapporteur is particularly interested in receiving inputs on any or all of the following issues, including case studies and specific examples of indigenous participation in State COVID-19 recovery measures that promote the vision and approaches of indigenous peoples as well as indigenous-led initiatives aimed at recovery.

Annex - Questions from the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

Impact of states’ COVID-19 recovery laws and policies on indigenous peoples

1. How have COVID-19 laws, policies and economic recovery plans contributed to- or interfered with - national and international environmental regulations of natural resources and other development activities that impact indigenous peoples’ lands?

2. What measures have governments taken to protect the lands, territories and resources of indigenous peoples against invasions and land-grabbing during the COVID-19 economic recovery phase? Have investments and natural resource development plans on indigenous lands and territories agreed upon through a process of good faith informed consultation with the indigenous peoples concerned, with the objective of obtaining consent?

3. How have States’ economic recovery measures sought to ensure that indigenous peoples benefit equally from public investments and national social protection programs?  

Participation and inclusion of indigenous peoples in state COVID-19 recovery plans

4. Please describe the ways in which States have consulted with indigenous communities in developing recovery plans. How have these processes helped to make State recovery measures more inclusive and responsive to indigenous peoples’ rights?

5. How have States and indigenous communities prepared for the distributions of COVID-19 vaccine in culturally appropriate and equitable ways? Were strategies developed and implemented in consultation with the participation of the indigenous peoples concerned?

Data collection and dissemination

6. How have States and indigenous peoples collected and analysed data on the impact of COVID-19 on indigenous peoples? Please specify to what extent economic, social, cultural or other barriers have hindered collection of such data. How can data collection procedures be improved to disaggregate information on indigenous peoples, including specific populations such as youth, women, elderly, LGBTI and persons with disabilities?

7. How have recovery solutions positively- or negatively- impacted public health surveillance, health information systems (such as trackers and GIS mapping), and community-based surveillance and data-collection processes within indigenous communities? 

Indigenous peoples’ COVID-19 responses and efforts at recovery

8. How have indigenous peoples’ institutions and public health systems collaborated and worked together to address the health care crisis caused by the pandemic? Have States integrated or developed policies and strategies to incorporate indigenous traditional medicine into the national healthcare system?

9. Please provide examples of indigenous-led COVID-19 recovery efforts. What lessons can be learned from indigenous traditional practices and community-based programs in creating green and sustainable recovery efforts and to prevent and mitigate the effects of future pandemics?


The Special Rapporteur would like to thank all who contributed to the creation of this important compilation of resources. Note to submitting entities: all submissions will be published on the mandate webpage on the OHCHR website, unless otherwise indicated in your submission.

If you have a question regarding the posting of your submission, please write to with “Submission HRC report 2021” .


Independent Institutions

Indigenous Organisations and Civil Society