Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement on 9 August to mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples:
Marginalisation, discrimination, poverty, having their land stolen from them and forced displacement, as well as insufficient opportunities for participating in society are characteristic of the lives of many indigenous groups around the world. This precarious situation is being exacerbated still further by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, I would like to pay tribute to their unique knowledge, skills and great resilience. We should draw on indigenous knowledge and experiences more intensively especially today. This can make a valuable contribution in many areas towards finding sustainable solutions to global problems, such as fighting against climate change and preserving biodiversity. It is therefore vital to protect the rights of indigenous people effectively and to strengthen the enforcement of these rights. The ratification of ILO Convention 169, which was adopted by the Federal Government in April of this year, is an important step on this path.