There are an estimated one billion persons with disabilities living across the globe, out of which 54 million are estimated to be indigenous peoples. Yet, their issues, which are mostly similar to issues faced by all indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities alike, traditionally remain invisible from both disability and indigenous policies.
This lack of prioritisation has resulted in the failure to address the significant barriers faced by indigenous persons with disabilities. They face multiple discrimination and also other barriers to effectively participate in society, including access to development programmes and funds, education, employment, health care, communication, and transportation services.
Indigenous persons with disabilities are overrepresented among those living in absolute poverty and continue to exist as one of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
The inclusion of indigenous persons with disabilities in legislation and programmes, disaggregation of data by disability status, and the commitment to the elimination of violence and discrimination reflect key challenges faced by indigenous persons with disabilities today.
The Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN) - a network of indigenous persons with disabilities that was founded in May 2013 to promote the rights of indigenous persons with disabilities, reach out to new communities, and engage with international and regional human rights and development processes. The IPWDGN is guided by the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP).
The work of the IPWDGN in 2021 was impactful in many different areas and intersections. The group:
The group also meaningfully engaged at the National and Regional levels, by holding several workshops with a focus on the Global South, and by encouraging participation in events that target intersectionality, such as our participation in the Global Conference of Indigenous Women.
A Call to Action
Understanding the importance of the Global Disability Summit 2022 (GDS22) as a platform to raise the voice of persons with disabilities, the IPWDGN would like to invite all relevant stakeholders to ensure indigenous people are taken into consideration and given space during the GDS22.
Moreover, they would also like to call for submission of commitments that directly affect indigenous people with disabilities, as an “underrepresented group”.
To learn more about The Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN) and its work click HERE.
This information comes from progress self-reported by entities who made pledges at the GDS 2018, collected by the GDS secretariat to incentivize accountability on commitments and but is not an external monitoring process.