Working to secure the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples

Minority Rights Group International campaigns worldwide with around 130 partners in over 60 countries to ensure that disadvantaged minorities and indigenous peoples, often the poorest of the poor, can make their voices heard.

This information pack has been produced with the support of the European Union. All content is the sole responsibility of MRG.

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Life at the Margins: The Challenges of Multiple Discrimination

A global overview – A collection of short articles and case studies focusing on discrimination on different grounds.

Minorities and indigenous peoples, already marginalised, face further challenges on account of other aspects of their identity – their age, gender, livelihood, disabilities, sexuality or gender identity. These groups suffer multiple forms of discrimination that leave them especially vulnerable to exploitation, not only by majorities and official power structures, but also from others within their own community.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people with disabilities – that is, people with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental health disabilities – make up 15 per cent of the world’s population.[i] Yet when attention is focused on indigenous or minority issues, the situation of those living with disabilities within those communities is rarely considered. […]

9 min read

Many of these groups are mobilizing around these intersecting identities to subvert stereotypes and highlight injustices.

Dalits, long victim to a caste-based system of social hierarchy that regards them as ‘untouchables’, comprise around 17 per cent of India’s total population.[i] While caste-based discrimination was outlawed in 1955, the social phenomenon of caste persists and is imparted through birth. As a result, Dalits still face severe hardship and exclusion from mainstream society, […]

4 min read

The rights of minority and indigenous children and young people are often not ensured or protected. They face barriers to education, for example, and lack basic health care in many parts of the world. Children are already particularly vulnerable in situations of poverty, conflict and other humanitarian emergencies, and are doubly so if they come […]

8 min read

Indigenous Endorois had inhabited Lake Bogoria for centuries when, in the 1970s, the Kenyan government forcibly removed them from their ancestral land. Their eviction brought to an end a unique way of life rich with culture and tradition, and they have been advocating for the rightful return of their land ever since. Despite a 2010 […]

3 min read

Across the globe, older people face discrimination in all areas of their lives. Whether they are accessing health care, seeking employment, or protecting their right to their land, older people are likely to experience discrimination because of their age. ‘Sometimes age discrimination is subtle: lack of transportation may prevent older people from taking part in […]

7 min read

Older people in minority and indigenous communities play an important role as respected leaders and human rights activists.

Older people from minority and indigenous backgrounds are well respected leaders and often credited with improving the well-being of their families and communities. These photos tell some of their stories.            

1 min read

Socio-economic inequality is determined by a complex range of factors, manifested in many interconnected spheres, such as livelihoods, income, material assets, access to social goods, influence and participation. While state policies have often focused heavily on national averages and broadly defined groups, to address the specific disparities experienced by those most marginalized – including many minority […]

7 min read

Four years ago, a typhoon struck the northern Filipino city of Baguio. The storm ruptured the walls of the city’s mounting garbage dump, sending hundreds of tonnes of urban waste cascading into the streets. The landslide flattened several houses and killed two young children. The tragedy was a wake-up call for Geraldine Cacho, an Igorot […]

2 min read

Minority and indigenous women face a unique set of challenges on account of their gender and community status, a form of intersectional discrimination that is often particularly difficult to address. As neither men within the same identity group or women from the majority community are likely to experience the same barriers, the situation of minority […]

7 min read

Ciudad Juárez is a striking example of both the good and the bad that the economic opportunities inherent to urbanization can bring. This city of nearly 1.5 million inhabitants is situated on the Mexico side of the border with the United States, directly opposite its sister-city, El Paso, Texas. Only the parched Rio Grande, contained […]

5 min read

Across the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people face discrimination, stigmatization and targeted violence as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity. However, the challenges faced by those who belong to both a sexual minority and a marginalized ethnic, religious, linguistic or indigenous community are even more complex. These people frequently are […]

9 min read

The Manu Project, jointly conceived by London-based friends and collaborators Lyall Hakaraia and Emma Eastwood, was initiated as a way to encourage queer indigenous and migrant youth to share their views on gender, identity and culture. Through a participatory workshop, in partnership with local partners in New Zealand, the Mika Haka Foundation and Rainbow Youth, […]

1 min read

The Manu Project encourages queer indigenous and migrant youth in New Zealand to share their views on gender, identity and culture.