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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 2022 in resolution 51/16.

Read more about this mandate.

Current mandate holder

Francisco Cali Tzay

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

Contact Information
Mr. Francisco Calí Tzay
Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples,
OHCHR-UNOG, 8-14 Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneve 10, Switzerland

Email: [email protected]

Former mandate holders


Ms. Victoria Tauli Corpuz (Philippines)
2014-2020

Prof. S. James Anaya   
2008-2014

Dr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen
2001-2008