International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples_9th August 2018

Indigenous Day_United Nations

These indigenous Tule women in Colombia’s Choco region prepare cotton to be used in making traditional clothes and material. They have only recently been able to return to their land, but damage to the environment and the presence of armed groups makes their future uncertain. The land and their connection to it is very important in Tule culture. Photo UNHCR/B. Heger.

There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They make up less than 5% of the world’s population, but account for 15% of the poorest. They speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures.

2018 Theme: Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement

As a result of loss of their lands, territories and resources due to development and other pressures, many indigenous peoples migrate to urban areas in search of better prospects of life, education and employment. They also migrate between countries to escape conflict, persecution and climate change impacts. Despite the widespread assumption that indigenous peoples live overwhelmingly in rural territories, urban areas are now home to a significant proportion of indigenous populations.

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