Nairobi, 14 August 2018-- On the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples- marked on 9 August-  UN-Habitat made a clarion on all decision-makers – from national and local governments, to international and regional organisations – to ensure and realise the rights of all indigenous peoples in cities.

This year’s theme – “Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement” – reminds us that the global urbanisation process increasingly includes indigenous peoples. Although, globally, the majority of indigenous peoples still live in rural areas, data shows that more and more are migrating to urban areas, whether temporarily or permanently. Thus, urbanisation is directly impacting indigenous peoples in many countries, both developed and developing.

The situation of indigenous peoples in urban areas varies greatly. While some adapt and improve their living conditions without loss of cultural identity, many are subject to discrimination, exclusion and violence. A growing number of indigenous peoples, who are amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised urban communities, are living in slums.

Greater attention by the relevant authorities is required to address rights of urban indigenous peoples. Public authorities need to appreciate the multiple identities of indigenous peoples within urban areas and their continuing relationship to their traditional lands and natural resources.

UN-Habitat, through its Housing Rights Programme and its involvement with the Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Peoples' Issues (IASG), strives to support authorities and communities develop effective strategies, policies and practices to improve the living conditions of indigenous peoples in cities and to contribute to a better understanding of urban indigenous peoples.

In particular, the New Urban Agenda “[recognised] the need to give particular attention to addressing discrimination faced by indigenous peoples” and commits “to promoting equitable and affordable access to sustainable basic physical and social infrastructure for all, without discrimination, including affordable serviced land [and] housing”. UN-Habitat further used its convening power to promote the rights and aspirations of indigenous peoples through the organisation of a stakeholder’s roundtable for indigenous peoples at the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur in February 2018.

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