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World Tribal Day: History, Significance and Theme of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on 9 August each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous peoples, which constitute around 470 million of the total human population of the planet earth. The event recognizes the achievements and contributions that the tribal communities across the globe have made to improve world issues. 

The indigenous people in the wold make up less than 5 per cent of the total population, but fall in the 15 per cent of the poorest, according to the UN website. They represent as many as 5,000 different cultures.

It was first pronounced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994, marking the day of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, in 1982.

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Firstly, the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994, decided the day to be celebrated every year during the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (1995–2004). Later, in 2004, the Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade, from 2005–2015.

“It is estimated that, every 2 weeks, an indigenous language disappears, placing at risk the respective indigenous cultures and knowledge systems,” UN wrote in their blog.

The United Nations designated 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages to persuade, convince and create awareness people about the Indigenous Languages.

According to the UN, The day will mobilize stakeholders to act in five key areas:

  1. Increasing understanding, reconciliation and international cooperation.
  2. Creating favourable conditions for knowledge-sharing and dissemination of good practices.
  3. Integrating indigenous languages into a standard-setting.
  4. Empowering through capacity building.
  5. Elaborating new knowledge to foster growth and development

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