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Promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples

Graphic: Indigenous people standing together

Indigenous peoples are among the most marginalised and vulnerable groups in countries across our region.

Many indigenous peoples share legacies of removal from traditional lands, destruction of their cultures, discrimination and widespread violations of their human rights.

They are commonly excluded from decision-making processes and from economic power; they suffer lower education and health outcomes; their cultures and languages are under threat; and they continue to be dispossessed of their traditional lands.

National human rights institutions (NHRIs) have a clear responsibility to work in collaboration with indigenous communities to address the pressing human rights issues facing them.

The APF's blended learning course aims to support our members to work more effectively with indigenous communities and to promote and protect their human rights.

Graphic: Indigenous man smiling

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Guide for NHRIs

This manual outlines the key elements of the Declaration and the ways in which NHRIs can use their mandates to promote its implementation in practice

This video is part of suite of resources where international experts, indigenous peoples' organisations and NHRIs from across the Asia Pacific region discuss the importance of working alongside indigenous peoples to promote and protect their human rights

The four-week online course examines the key provisions in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as the principles of self-determination; participation in decision-making; respect for and protection of culture; and equality and non-discrimination.

Other discussion topics focus on the ways in which NHRIs can use their education, complaint handling, advisory and investigation functions to advance the rights of indigenous peoples, along with using the international human rights system to promote the Declaration and its implementation at the country level.

All participants who successfully complete the online component attend a face-to-face workshop, which provides opportunities for them to deepen their knowledge, consolidate their skills and share examples of good practice.

As part of the workshop, participants develop a set of practical "action points" to promote and protect the rights of indigenous peoples, for implementation by their respective NHRIs.


The APF has delivered:

  • Blended learning program with the NHRIs of Australia, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, March-May 2015


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Image credits

  1. Indigenous people standing together - Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines