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United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - Parallel Event



Date: Thursday 19 April

Time: From 13:15 to 14:30

Location: Conference Room 8


The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) has held more than 16
working sessions since its creation in 2000. The Forum has the mandate to address and follow
up on indigenous issues in six thematic areas: economic and social development, culture, the
environment, education, health and human rights. Every year, during at the end of its Session
it makes recommendation to different UN Member States, UN Agencies and other relevant
actors, to ensure that they promote, respect and fulfil indigenous people’s human rights.

The Permanent Forum is a global space highly valued by indigenous organizations as a unique
space where the situation of indigenous peoples can be made visible, including those of
women. It is where they express their demands, participate in discussions, and engage in
negotiations between organizations of indigenous peoples and UN Member States and UN

The rights of indigenous women and youth have been on the agenda from the start of the
Permanent Forum. Monitoring of the situation of indigenous women has been a longstanding
priority for the Permanent Forum, and it has aimed to bring to attention the multiple forms of
discrimination that women face in different areas of their lives.

The Study

The purpose of the study is to contribute to strengthening the capacities s of the Permanent
Forum and the actors involved in generating actions necessary to achieve tangible progress in
the exercise of indigenous women’s rights – with a focus on sexual and reproductive health
and reproductive rights and gender-based violence prevention and response. The study was
undertaken in collaboration between CHIRAPAQ, Center for Indigenous Peoples' Cultures of
Peru, and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. The Study evaluates the progress made
in implementing the Permanent Forum’s recommendations, and aims to better understand the
achievements, limits, barriers and scope of the proposals and improve their implementation.
The study analyses the recommendations made by the Permanent Forum, complemented with
information on their implementation in nine countries: Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Kenya,
Mexico, Norway, Peru, the Republic of the Congo and Thailand.

The Study is a first attempt to develop concrete proposals to address the barriers to and
strengthen the implementation of the recommendations from the Permanent Forum.

Main conclusions of the Study

The key findings of the Study are as follows:

 Low response rate from Member States to the questionnaires sent by the Secretariat
of the Permanent Forum on actions taken to follow up the recommendations of the
Permanent Forum. Only 37 countries sent information to the Forum, of which only
Mexico sent in more than 10 reports, while the majority (20) sent in only 1 or 2 reports
in total. In addition, these reports often focus on process and activities but not results
 The Forum has issued 170 recommendations specifically aimed at improving the
situation of indigenous women; however, data on their implementation level is
lacking. Only in the case of 50 per cent have implementation measures been reported
 According to the Permanent Forum database, of the 170 recommendations directed to
the situation of indigenous women in particular, only 10 have been reported as
 Only 15.5 per cent of the recommendations contain an explicit focus on the situation
of indigenous women, young people and/or girls and/or gender equality.
 Only 2.9 per cent of the total recommendations are related to sexual and
reproductive health and 6.3 per cent to the right to a life free from violence.
 While many issues have been addressed by the Forum, specific themes and
dimensions are absent from the recommendations, though indigenous women’s
organizations have put them on the table.
 Certain factors limit the action of the Permanent Forum in the promotion of sexual
and reproductive health and reproductive rights and a life free from violence for
indigenous women: Limited capacity and priority in countries fpr public policies
concerning indigenous women; lack of culturally appropriate public policies; lack of
budget and priority for public policies for and with the indigenous population in
general and indigenous women in particular; lack of disaggregated information
according to ethnicity and that renders invisible the problems faced by indigenous
women; Limited information provided to the Forum on progress in implementing the
recommendations in countries; lack of harmony between agendas of indigenous
women's organizations and agendas of Governments; limitations when it comes to
relaying information from national institutions to local governments and onto
indigenous communities
 Certain factors facilitate the implementation of the recommendations or their
themes. Including: the presence of United Nations Special Rapporteurs; the action of
indigenous women's organizations, including in disseminating and enforcing the
international commitments assumed by the Government to international bodies and
the specific work of the Forum; the presence and action of United Nations agencies in
countries; and committed Member States who report regularly to the Forum and have

established dedicated institutions to follow up and support implementation of the

The findings from this Study and this side event are of critical importance to the central
promise of the SDGs to “leave no one behind”. The Permanent Forum has a key role in
supporting Members States live up to this promise, as an advisory body to ECOSOC. Similarly
Member States need to commit to fulfil the rights of indigenous peoples, women and youth.



1. Present the main findings from the Study:

2. Highlight the level of progress and challenges in implementing the recommendations
from the Permanent Forum, related in particular to sexual and reproductive health and
rights and gender based violence.
3. Identify strategies and actions to improve the level of implementation of the
recommendations in this area by Member States

The side event will have simultaneous translation in Spanish and English.


Time Themes
13:15 Opening remarks

Tarcila Rivera Zea

13:20 Main results from the Study

Luis Mora, UNFPA

13:35 Comments on the Study from the UN Permanent Forum

Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine

13:45 Comments to the Study from the perspective of a Member State

Comment to the Study from perspective of Civil Society:

Lucy Mulenkey, Indigenous Information Network (IIN), Kenia

Indigenous Youth Representative - ECMIA

14:00 Comments and feedback from plenary
14:25 Next steps and closing words

Event Organisers

UNFPA, CHIRAPAQ Centro de Culturas Indígenas del Perú