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Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

The UN Global Compact launched a Business Reference Guide to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the Second Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in 2013 (read the news release here). The Guide aims to increase understanding among business of the rights of indigenous peoples and to provide practical suggestions for respecting and supporting these rights.



An international collaborative effort over more than 18 months, the Guide is the result of a dialogue among Global Compact business participants that wanted to enhance their understanding of indigenous peoples’ rights and what to do to respect and support these rights. Thousands of people across the globe were invited to participate in the development of the Guide. Through this consultation over 60 written submissions were obtained, additional input was received online, by email and webinars, and through in-person meetings, including on the occasion of the Twelfth Session of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Publicly posted comment submissions are available at the Business and Human Rights Dilemmas Forum. To ensure high-quality revisions were reflected, the Global Compact convened an Expert Advisory Group to help finalize the Guide.

A group of Global Compact LEAD companies first initiated this project in 2012 and participated in a series of webinars to dialogue and explore good practice, including with representatives from the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, BSR, and the International Labour Organisation. Additionally, with pro-bono support from the law firm White & Case, the group completed a mapping of international standards and norms in the area of business and indigenous peoples’ rights. View the mapping results.

Engagement opportunities

Call for Case Studies: Practical Supplement to the Business Reference Guide to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

All interested parties are invited to submit case studies to be included in the Practical Supplement, which will be updated on a bi-annual basis. Case studies should be identified by indigenous peoples and business as examples of corporate respect and/or support of the rights set out in the UN Declaration.

Please submit case studies to undrip@unglobalcompact.org by 13 March 2015..

Business and Human Rights Dilemmas Forum: Indigenous Peoples

The Business and Human Rights Dilemmas Forum has a section on indigenous peoples' rights, where you can explore challenges, case studies, and potential good practice with regard to business engagement with indigenous peoples.


Michelle Lau
Human Rights and Social Sustainability Advisor
UN Global Compact

(Last updated: 4 September 2014)