By: Dalí Ángel Pérez*
For the Latin America Indigenous Women and Youth organization, being able to participate in the First International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) has been extremely important. The indigenous youth had the opportunity to contribute and influence through recommendations in the official statement.
When it comes to indigenous young people’s rights, there is a big gap in comparison with other populations in relation to their human rights and health, particularly sexual and reproductive rights. The lack of recognition of indigenous soil and territory creates forced displacement in our communities pronounced by extractive industries. Additionally, indigenous worldview traditional healing practices are not recognized including the remuneration of our traditional midwives, among others. It is necessary to use a holistic approach in addressing health rights of indigenous youth and women that transcends the physical and biological factors, including the connection between the spiritual and the Mother Earth.
Therefore, the indigenous youth participation in the Conference on Population and Development allows us to give recommendations on the design, management and implementation of policies and programs for youth, women and indigenous peoples. These have to respond to indigenous specific demands and specificities of the context in which we live.
We consider it necessary to guarantee the participation of youth and women in these spaces, so that we are spokespersons and our demands and recommendations based on collective processes and narratives from the indigenous movement.
The participants at these forums have the task and responsibility to share information with other organizations, indigenous peoples and youth who could not participate, and especially to follow up on agreements that can be implemented at the national, state and local level.
Us, the Indigenous Youth Network of Central America and Mexico, recognize the path of feminist and indigenous movements. We believe that new generations must be present in these spaces and continue with the responsibility of making visible our demands as youth as part of the indigenous communities.
We appreciate the solidarity of the various sectors present with our demands and those who supported our recommendations for the Conference on Population and Development. We recognize that we each have our own specific agendas however, this did not limit us from uniting as the voice for young Latin America and the Caribbean.
*Red de Jóvenes Indígenas de Centroamérica y México
Alianza de Mujeres Indígenas de Centroamérica y México
Foro Internacional de Mujeres Indígenas FIMI.