Good practices and challenges in business and in access to financial services by indigenous peoples: report

8 August 2017
The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
To the 36th session of the Human Rights Council


Through resolution 33/13, the Human Rights Council requested the Expert Mechanism to prepare a study on good practices and challenges, including discrimination, in business and in access to financial services by indigenous peoples, in particular indigenous women and indigenous persons with disabilities, and to present it to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-sixth session in September 2017.

OHCHR and the University of Colorado Law School organized an Expert Seminar on Good Practices and Challenges for Indigenous Peoples’ Entrepreneurship, which took place in Boulder, USA, on 6 and 7 March 2017.

The Seminar examined these issues from a human rights perspective, paying particular attention to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In addition to contributing to the study, the seminar also provided an opportunity for exchange among academics, practitioners and other experts on this issue.


The systematic economic marginalization of indigenous peoples continues to the present day, including through the discrimination that they frequently face in accessing financial services or in establishing and operating their own businesses. Indigenous women, persons with disabilities and young indigenous persons are particularly affected by discrimination due to the multiple barriers that they face.

In this report, the Expert Mechanism proposes a human rights-based understanding of indigenous peoples’ businesses and access to financial services and identifies encouraging practices and challenges in that area.

Inputs received

The Expert Mechanism requested contributions from States, indigenous peoples, NHRIs and other stakeholders. The views presented in these documents are those of the submitting organizations, and may not reflect the views of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.


Indigenous peoples and others: