International Work Group For Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)

IWGIA was founded in 1968 with the aim of supporting indigenous peoples in their struggles for the recognition of their human rights, self-determination, right to land and resources, cultural integrity, and the right to self-determined development. IWGIA holds consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and is an observer to the Arctic Council. Publication and information dissemination about indigenous affairs is an essential part of IWGIA's work. IWGIA publishes magazines, a yearbook, handbooks and thematic books. The publication output is between 15 and 25 titles annually.

IWGIA supports indigenous peoples at the global level i.e. at the United Nations within e.g. the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues under the ECOSOC, the UN Special Rapporteur of the rights of the indigenous peoples or in relation to the newly established expert group.During the past decade considerable support was provided to the UN Working Group on the Draft Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.Through its regional programs IWGIA supports projects implemented in most cases by indigenous peoples' organisations themselves. The four regional programs with project portfolios are: Africa, Asia, Latin America and Russia. It has recently established a new program on Climate Change and Environment.

IWGIA's work with indigenous peoples is, first of all, guided by a rights based approach. A key principle for IWGIA is that human rights are a fundamental tool for improving the economic and political situation of marginalised indigenous peoples. With respect to IWGIA's work in Asia, where the proposed project will be implemented, the recently conducted joint review by NORAD and DANIDA concludes:

The team finds that IWGIA has been successful in the implementation of its Asia Programme. The portfolio of projects in the region covers a wide and relevant range of partners and thematic issues. [ ] The work of IWGIA in the region is well thought-out and includes good strategic thinking. The impact of projects is assessed to be both strategically important and to be creating real impacts in relation to the specific sites and initiatives. [ ] The team finds that the Asia Strategy is an appropriate tool to engage in dialogue with partners about how project cooperation and broader partnerships can develop and how the support can have a broader political impact.


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