Association ESE


   Association for Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women.


Permanent UN Forum on Indigenous Issues 2019 - Indigenous Women

18th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)

Date: 22 April – 3 May 2019 - United Nations Headquarters, NYC

Theme: “Traditional Knowledge: Generation, Transmission & Protection”

Direct Link to Full 13-Page 2019 Text:

WUNRN will be watching for the Indigenous Women’s Declaration at the 2019 Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

On April 18, 2018, the RLS–NYC & MADRE Delegation of Indigenous Women Leaders addressed the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) with a joint statement on critical issues related to sustainable development, economic empowerment, and the human rights of environmental defenders, as they affect the realization of the rights of Indigenous women and girls worldwide.

Statement on Behalf of the Indigenous Women Delegation 2018
17th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Thank you Madame Chair. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on behalf of our international delegation of Indigenous Women present in NY for being re-elected as chair of this 17th session.

We, Indigenous women from Cameroon, Kenya, Nicaragua, Nepal and the United States would like to address the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues regarding critical issues that Indigenous women and girls face in relation to land, territories and natural resources around the world.

Madame Chair, globally Indigenous women are at the forefront of movements modelling sustainable environmental solutions,  and are key in practicing models that are pertinent in halting climate change. Indigenous women continue to persevere as they struggle and face the worst impacts of climate change with the increasing degradation of their own land and territories. In addition, Indigenous women and girls remain discriminated against because of traditional cultural practices that do not allow them to own any productive resources like land. If we are committed to make progress in achieving is sustainable development goals and the agenda 2030, it is the responsibility of governments to put in place legal protections safeguarding the right of women to own and inherit land without any barriers.

We welcome the agreed conclusion from the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), calling on promoting and protecting the rights of Indigenous women and girls addressing the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and barriers that we and our girls face while acknowledging the vast contributions of Indigenous women to many areas of conservation, sustainability, food security and improved nutrition. We believe that Indigenous women and girls must have a voice in policies that affect their lives.

We call for the following recommendations:

– We call on Member States and UN Agencies to include Indigenous women and girls, youth, elders and traditional keepers in implementing and decision making processes within national and international legal frameworks focusing on securing, protecting and demarcating Indigenous peoples land.

– We reiterate that the UN Permanent Forum works closely with other UN Agencies in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples Organizations to establish a monitoring mechanism that oversees the implementation of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the actions taken in ensuring free, prior informed consent on what is an increasing number of development projects on Indigenous lands resulting in land grabbing, violations and displacement of Indigenous Peoples.

– We urge the UN Permanent Forum to work closely with UN Agencies and in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples organizations to prevent, recognize, and monitor the high levels of global violence and threats faced by and directed at Indigenous Women Human Right defenders. We call for an immediate halt to the criminalization, incarceration, intimidation, coercion, death threats and assassination of all Indigenous human and environmental rights defenders from developed and developing countries who are protecting their homelands, communities, future generations, and life-giving processes from environmental destruction and contamination.

– We call on Member States, UN Agencies and the Permanent Forum to ensure that efforts of conservation practiced by International Organizations, and encouraged by International agreements are inclusive of Indigenous People’s rights. It is of crucial importance that the process recognize  and respect customary and community land rights while acknowledging the important role Indigenous women play in maintaining and conserving biodiversity and other natural resources.

– We call on Member States, UN Agencies and the Permanent Forum to hold multinationals and agribusiness accountable for not involving Indigenous Peoples in a free, prior, informed consent mechanism prior to engaging in any development projects in Indigenous peoples’ land and territories.

Indigenous Women Delegation 2018: 
Yasso Kanti Bhattachan (National Indigenous Women Forum, Nepal)
Leduvina Guill Zamora (Wangki Tangni, Nicaragua)
Aehshatou Manu (Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association-MBOSCUDA, Cameroon)
Kandi Mossett (Indigenous Environmental Network, USA)
Lucy Mulenkei (Indigenous Information Network, Kenya)
Kamala Thapa (National Indigenous Women’s Federation, Nepal)

Source: WUNRN – 23.04.2019



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