The study reviews the situation of indigenous persons with disabilities in the enjoyment of their human rights. It looks at the main relevant legal standards — the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples — and how those standards interact to protect relevant rights. The study examines some areas in which, according to indigenous persons with disabilities, there is discrimination in the enjoyment of rights, such as political participation, access to justice, education, language and culture, and issues specific to indigenous women and children with disabilities. It is concluded that more attention should be paid to the rights of indigenous persons with disabilities.
Recommendations are made to United Nations agencies and other relevant stakeholders on important ways to increase genuine inclusion and participation of indigenous persons with disabilities and support the establishment and develop the capacity of organizations of indigenous persons with disabilities, such as by allocating resources to build the capacity of indigenous peoples to address the needs of indigenous persons with disabilities in their communities. It is recommended that maximum effort be made to use the upcoming high-level meeting on disability and development, to be held in 2013, and the high-level plenary meeting of the sixtyninth session of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and to be held in 2014, to examine the realities of indigenous persons with disabilities and how such persons can benefit from the post-2015 development agenda framework.
Indigenous children with disabilities (ICwD) have received little attention in academic research and development policies. However, they face discrimination at many levels, based on ethnicity, age,
ability and gender and this often leads to serious human rights violations. The lack of data, both on
the prevalence of disabilities among indigenous children and young people and on specific violations
of their human rights, is a serious constraint to any policy intended to respect, protect and promote
their human rights. Thisstudy seeksto identify these gaps, point to certain patterns and recommend
ways of improving data collection and the situation of ICwD in future.
Indigenous persons with disabilities face exclusion, marginalization and multiple layers of discrimination based on their disability, their ethnic origin and their gender. However, despite higher rates of disability in indigenous communities, little or no attention is given to their situation: in most cases they have no access to the services and the support they need to participate fully in society at large and their own communities.
Over the last three decades much progress was made with regards to the recognition of the rights of indigenous
peoples. Landmarks of this progress include: the adoption of the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention,
1989 (No. 169), which is the only legally binding international instrument open to ratification that deals specifically
with the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples;1
and the ongoing work of the Human Rights Council (HRC) and
the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in appointing experts and advisory bodies to examine ways to overcome existing obstacles to the full and effective protection of the rights of indigenous peoples.2
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