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Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

Purpose of the mandate

Indigenous peoples across the world experience the consequences of historical colonisation and invasion of their territories. They face discrimination because of their distinct cultures, identities and ways of life, and are disproportionately affected by poverty and marginalisation. This mandate was created to:

  • Promote good practices, including new laws, government programs, and constructive agreements between indigenous peoples and states, to implement international standards concerning the rights of indigenous peoples;
  • Make recommendations and proposals on appropriate measures to prevent and remedy violations of the rights of indigenous peoples;
  • Report on the human rights situations of indigenous peoples around the world;
  • Address specific cases of alleged violations of indigenous peoples’ rights.

About the mandate

In 2001, the Commission on Human Rights decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, as part of the system of thematic Special Procedures. The Special Rapporteur’s mandate was renewed by the Commission on Human Rights in 2004, and by the Human Rights Council in 2007. It was most recently renewed in 2019 in resolution 42/20.

Read more about this mandate.

Current mandate holder

Mr. Francisco Cali, current Special Rapporteur Francisco Cali Tzay was appointed Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples in March 2020 and took up the role on 1 May 2020. A Mayan Cakchiquel from Guatemala, he has represented indigenous peoples at the United Nations since the early 1980s, addressing human rights violations against the Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala and around the world. Read Mr. Francisco Calí Tzay's full biography.

Latest thematic reports

Impact of the coronavirus disease on the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples. Special Rapporteur Francisco Calí Tzay presents his first report to the General Assembly on 12 October 2020. The report observes increased health risks for indigenous peoples, their sources of resilience in front of the pandemic, as well as State and indigenous responses to the pandemic. The report analyses the adverse and disproportionate impact of confinement and emergency measures observed on indigenous peoples and makes recommendations for inclusive recovery. View report page. View document A/75/185

Mandate impacts in favour of the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. Observations on consultation processes. In her last report to the Human Rights Council in 2020, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples highlights examples of positive impacts on the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples from the work carried out during the period of her mandate 2014-2020. The report also considers experiences and lessons learned regarding consultation processes and concludes with brief reflections on the mandate at the end of her term and some forward-looking recommendations. View document A/HRC/45/34

Report on regional consultation on the rights of indigenous peoples in Asia. The former Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, conducted a regional consultation in Bangkok in November 2019 attended by more than 100 representatives of indigenous peoples from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Thailand and Viet Nam, as well as Taiwan Province of China. The consultation aimed to discuss the current challenges faced by indigenous peoples in Asia and focused on self-determination, governance and justice systems; lands, territories and resources; conservation; climate change; business and human rights; human rights defenders; and the Sustainable Development Goals. View document A/HRC/45/34/Add.3

Access to justice in ordinary and indigenous justice system. Presented to the Human Rights Council in 2019, in this report the Special Rapporteur analyses issues related to access to justice for indigenous peoples, whether through the ordinary justice system or through their own indigenous justice mechanisms. She concludes with recommendations aimed at strengthening access to justice for indigenous peoples, while upholding international human rights standards, in both ordinary and indigenous justice systems. View report page | View document A/HRC/42/37

Latest country reports

Visit to the Congo (14 to 24 October 2019)
View document A/HRC/45/34/Add.1

Visit to Timor-Leste (8 to 16 April 2019)
View document A/HRC/42/37/Add.2

Latest news:

More press releases and ​statements...

Archived news
(over 3 years old)

Calls for input

Impact of COVID-19 on indigenous peoples
CLOSED: Report due in November 2020

The situation of indigenous peoples in Asia
CLOSED. Report due in September 2020

Call for input: Visit to Denmark and Greenland
Visit postponed due to COVID-19
New deadline: 31 August 2020


Meeting request with the Special Rapporteur during the UN Permanent Forum on indigenous issues



Message on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of UNRIP
13 September 2020
Watch on Vimeo


Guatemala: Concern about indigenous leader’s conviction
20 December 2018
Watch on YouTube


Effects of Climate change on Indigenous Peoples
22 September 2017
Watch on YouTube


Conservation: a pretext to evict Indigenous peoples
22 September 2017
Watch on YouTube

Former mandate holders

Ms. Victoria Tauli Corpuz (Philippines)

Prof. S. James Anaya   

Dr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen