International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on 9th August, and the theme for 2020 is COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience. Read about the history, fact and significance of this day.

Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples: To safeguard the rights and knowledge of the indigenous people, the United Nations celebrates 9th August as International Day of the World’s Indigenous people. This day is observed to raise awareness about the contributions and achievements of indigenous people for improving world issues such as environmental protection. In December 1994, this event was pronounced by the UN General Assembly and was decided to be celebrated on 9th August every year. 

As the pandemic scenario is across the world, however, indigenous people were worried about the threat of pandemic even before the COVID-19 arrived. These are the people who belong to 80% of the world’s biodiversity and they can teach us better about how to rebalance our relationship with nature and reduce the risk of upcoming pandemics and all thanks to their traditional knowledge and relationship with nature. 

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International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020 Theme

The theme for this year celebration is COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience.  This year the celebration will be through a virtual event, where the panel discussion will feature a discussion on the various innovative ways that the indigenous peoples are continuing to demonstrate resilience and strength in the face of the pandemic as well as along with confronting grave threats to their survival. 

The background of International Day of World’s Indigenous People

For the very first time, On December 23, 1994, the UN General Assembly declared that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People will be observed on August 9 every year during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.

In April 2000, the Commission on Human Rights addressed to adopt a resolution for establishing the UN Permanent Forum on the various Indigenous issues that were listed by the Economic and Social Council. The forum’s main agenda was to discuss and try to solve the indigenous issues related to culture, economic and social development, education, the environment, health and human rights.

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In the year 2004, the assembly professed that the 2nd International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (i.e. 2005-2014). The assembly also declared that the International Day of Indigenous People annually during the second decade will be continued. The main aim was to provide strength to the international cooperation for solving problems that have been faced by indigenous peoples in regards of culture, education, health, and social and economic development, human rights, and the environment.

How people celebrate this day?

People from different nations from across the nation are encouraged to participate in observing the day to spread the UN’s message on indigenous peoples with various activities such as educational forums and classroom activities to gain an appreciation and a better understanding of indigenous peoples. The events may include a speech or some messages from the UN secretary-general and other key leaders, performances by indigenous artists, and panel discussions on reconciliation. This year due to the pandemic situation, the gathering would not be possible, therefore a virtual event would be set up to celebrate this day.  

In order to raise awareness about the needs and requirements of the indigenous peoples, every 9 August is commemorated as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Especially now, they need us in this pandemic and we need them too to deal from future pandemics, from their traditional knowledge, voices and wisdom.

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International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020 – FAQ

Q. What is the theme for celebrating this day in 2020?

The theme for celebrating International Day of World’s Indigenous People is “COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience”

Q. When was this day first announced?

It was first announced by the General Assembly of United Nations on 23rd December 1994

Q. Why this day is celebrated? 

This day is celebrated on 9th August every year in order to encourage the rights and contributions of the indigenous people towards environmental issues.

Q. Is International Day of World’s Indigenous People a public holiday?

This day is a United Nation’s day of observance but it could not be counted as a public holiday.

Q. Will this day be celebrated in 2020 and how?

Yes, this year this day will be celebrated virtually, anyone can participate in the event by sitting at their home.