"While indigenous peoples have made significant advancements in advocating for their rights in global and regional fora, implementation of the Declaration is impeded by persisting vulnerability and exclusion, and exclusion, particularly among indigenous women, children, youth and persons with disabilities", said 40 United Nations system entities and other worldwide organizations in a joint United Nations statement, issued on the occasion of the worldwide Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, marked annually on 9 August. The Declaration affirms Indigenous peoples' right to self-determination and sets out minimum standards for their survival, dignity and well-being. "Canada has stated its unqualified support for the UN Declaration and, as we approach the 10 anniversary of its adoption by the UN General Assembly, it is time to work together to give life to the Declaration in Canada and around the world". The demand was signed by the special rapporteur for the indigenous peoples' rights, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz; the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Affairs, and the Experts' Mechanism on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples.
Yet a decade on, they said, the world needs to acknowledge that vast challenges that remain.
Further, "indigenous women face double discrimination, both as women and as indigenous peoples".
Although some countries have taken constitutional and legislative measures to recognize their rights and identities, exclusion, marginalization and violence continue to be widespread.
As such any legislation by the State should incorporate the protection of indigenous peoples and their property, their rights over land, forest areas, pastures and other natural resources with due regard to indigenous customary laws, traditional lifestyles and cultural values, it said.
According to United Nations estimates, indigenous peoples now make up about 370 million people who live in more than 70 countries in the world. The date marks the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1982.
On the occasion of International Day of the Indigenous Peoples, the Zomi Human Rights Foundation, HQ called upon all to honour the rights of indigenous peoples and made a-six-point recommendation which it said will uphold their unique contribution to achieving mutual understanding, peace and sustainable development.