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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas

Friday, November 20, 2020 - 10:00am
Virtual via Cisco WebEx


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a virtual hearing on the status of the human rights of indigenous peoples in the Americas.   

At least 30 million and up to 50 million indigenous people live in Latin America and the Caribbean. Their share of the population varies by country, from less than 1% in El Salvador to at least 41% in Bolivia and Guatemala, according to the World Bank. They have long suffered from widespread discrimination that is reflected in higher rates of poverty and reduced access to public services throughout the region. The consequences of marginalization play out in specific contexts. In Guatemala, for example, up to 70% of indigenous children are stunted due to malnutrition. In Colombia, 242 indigenous leaders have been assassinated since the signing of the peace accords in 2016, including 47 killed between January and June of 2020. The coronavirus pandemic and uncontrolled deforestation are decimating indigenous communities in Brazil. In Peru, Honduras and many other countries, extractive industries located in or near indigenous territories are provoking a growing number of environmental, social and ethnic conflicts -- even as recognition of the contributions of indigenous peoples to resource conservation and the management of climate change has grown.

Hearing witnesses will examine the human rights situation faced by indigenous peoples in the region and offer recommendations for congressional action.  

This is a virtual hearing. Pursuant to H. Res. 965, Members of Congress who wish to participate remotely may do so via Cisco WebEx. Members of the public and the media may view the hearing by live webcast on the Commission website. The hearing will also be available for viewing by congressional staff on the House Digital Channel service. For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton (for Co-Chair McGovern), Abby Curtis (for Executive Committee Member Haaland) or Piero Tozzi (for Co-Chair Smith).   

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern
Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC
Deb Haaland
Member of Congress
TLHRC Executive Committee
Christopher H. Smith
Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC

Opening Remarks


Panel I


Submitted for the Record


116th Congress