Hoja Informativa de Perú Baseline information for the Indigenous Navigator: 2017


The Indigenous Navigator is being implemented through two institutions in Peru: the National Organisation of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Women (ONAMIAP) and the Centre for Public Policies and Human Rights – Perú Equidad. Peru has also committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and so the Indigenous Navigator is helping to monitor SDG implementation with regard to the country’s indigenous peoples. Peru gave its first voluntary presentation to the United Nations in July 2017.


The national questionnaire, which forms part of the Indigenous Navigator, has been used by Perú Equidad to monitor implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ILO Convention 169, the Outcome Document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, and the essential aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals in relation to the rights of Andean and Amazonian indigenous peoples.

Indigenous peoples in the country

Peru is a pluriethnic state comprising different native peoples. With the aim of ensuring implementation of prior consultation, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture has identified 55 peoples. Fifty-one (51) of these are Amazonian: Achuar, Amahuaca, Arabela, Ashaninka, Asheninca, Awajun, Bora, Cashinahua, Chamicuro, Chapra, Chitonahua, Eje Eja, Harakbut, Ikitu, Iñapari, Isconahua, Jíbaro, Kakataibo, Kakinte, Kandozi, Kapanawa, Kichwa, Kukama kukamiria, Madija, Maijɨki, Marinahua, Mashco Piro, Mastanahua, Matsés, Matsigenka, Muniche, Murui-­‐Muinanɨ, Nahua, Nanti, Nomatsigenga, Ocaina, Omagua, Resígaro, Secoya, Sharanahua, Shawi, Shipibo-­‐Konibo, Shiwilu, Tikuna, Urarina, Vacacocha, Wampis, Yagua, Yaminahua, Yanesha, and Yine.

Four are identified as being from the Andean region: Aymara, Jaqaru, Uro and Quechua, this latter noted as referring to “a broad and diverse set of Andean populations” with Quechua as their mother tongue. Of these, the Chopcca, Chankas, Huancas, Huaylas, Kanas, Q’ero and Cañaris peoples are specifically identified. Together, these peoples form the majority of Peru’s indigenous population.

Indigenous people and the census

A new Housing and Population Census was conducted in 2017 which included additional questions aimed at obtaining more information on ethnic variables. The results of this are expected in the second half of 2018. The data currently available therefore comes from the 2007 census. This census stated that 47% (13,263,759) of the population aged 3+ is indigenous, the criterion being language learned during childhood.


Monetary Poverty

Seven percent (7%) of those who speak a native language or a language other than Spanish live in a situation of extreme poverty and 25.7% in a situation of moderate poverty (National Housing Survey, ENAHO 2016). Drawing on data from the 2007 census, UNICEF estimated that an average 42% of indigenous children and adolescents were living in extreme poverty and 36% in moderate poverty.

Access to land

The Peruvian state has guaranteed the native peoples their right to communal land ownership since 1920 but the 1993 Constitution removed the safeguards of immunity from seizure and inalienability.

61.8% of the peasant and native communities hold title to their land (2017) but only 83.1% of the titled peasant communities and 71.2% of the native communities have had their titles registered in the Public Registry (SUNARP). There is no information on indigenous ownership of individual plots or properties.


67.2% of indigenous children who speak a native language complete their primary education within the given timeframe (2016). 52% of indigenous adolescents who speak a native language complete their secondary education within the given timeframe.

Achievement of a satisfactory level of written understanding in their native language had doubled in 2014 among indigenous fourth grade primary school children in Andean areas and tripled in Amazonian bilingual schools, compared to 2012. Written understanding of Spanish among speakers of six of the indigenous languages had increased by 7% in the 2015 Student Census.


Transmissible diseases are the main cause of death and illness among Andean and Amazonian indigenous peoples, in particular acute respiratory infections (ARI) and acute diarrhoea, both of which have a serious impact in a context of prevalent malnutrition. Alongside this, however, chronic non-transmissible diseases are growing in importance such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS and pollution-related harm.


Peru recognises the existence of indigenous and native peoples, and they are mentioned in laws of different legal standing. National legislation does not recognise indigenous peoples as legal entities with legal status, however, as these laws only refer to the legal status of peasant, native and coastal communities, and it is through these communities that their distinct policies, plans, programmes and administrative standards are operationalised.

Public policies in favour of implementing indigenous rights

On the basis of domestic law and international standards transposed by the Peruvian state, a number of different policies and programmes have been produced aimed at implementing indigenous rights:

  • Sectoral Intercultural Education and Bilingual Intercultural Education Policy
  • Policy to promote Indigenous languages
  • Sectoral Intercultural Health Policy
  • Communal titling programmes
  • Promotion of an intercultural approach in the State Justice System

Policies, plans and programmes for indigenous peoples tend to be subsumed within those established for rural areas.

Law on Consultation

Law on Consultation Nº 29785 “on the right of indigenous and native peoples to prior consultation, as recognised in ILO Convention 169” was enacted in 2011 and its implementing regulations came into force in 2012. To date, 42 prior consultation processes have been conducted, and 33 of them concluded. Of those concluded, 11 were consultations on measures to authorise the commencement of mining activities, 11 related to the approval of permits for oil exploration/exploitation, two related to non-extractive investment projects, five to measures to create or establish conservation areas and four to the approval of public policies (forestry, languages, health, education). There are currently nine prior consultation processes still underway.

The Law on Prior Consultation explicitly establishes that there is no right of veto and its regulations list the cases in which the law will not apply. The approval of a legislative procedure is pending in Congress.

Ratification of International Conventions

  • International Convention on Civil and Political Rights ICCPR: 28/04/1978
  • International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ICESCR: 28/04/1978
  • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women CEDAW
  • ILO Convention Nº 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries
  • ILO Convention Nº 138 on the Minimum Working Age
  • ILO Convention Nº 29 on Forced Labour
  • ILO Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • ILO Convention Nº 111 on Discrimination in Employment and Occupation
  • ILO Convention Nº 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour
  • ILO Convention Nº 105 on the Abolition of Forced Labour
  • Inter-American Convention on Human Rights


National legislation has been gradually changing since ILO Convention 169 was ratified although there have also been setbacks, particularly in terms of territorial security. Setbacks in the area of the environment have also directly affected indigenous peoples and they have been forced to demand precautionary measures from the Constitutional Court and request an audience with the Inter-American Commission. This situation is largely the result of the priority that is given to private investment in indigenous areas where there are no safeguards in place.

In line with efforts being made in numerous Latin American countries, Peru’s latest population census (2017) included questions aimed at helping to establish and monitor specific policies for indigenous peoples. The results are expected in 2018. The National Institute of Statistics has identified a number of indicators by which to monitor the SDGs. Government sectors still need to make significant efforts to incorporate ethnic components into their protocols, however, and an intercultural approach into their policies and programmes.

The Indigenous Navigator and the Sustainable Development Objectives

The national questionnaire has been used with the aim of monitoring UNDRIP implementation. The Indigenous Navigator’s instruments will be applied in Andean and Amazonian indigenous regions.

There is a baseline for indigenous peoples and the SDGs, and this will be updated regularly. Both instruments will be used to produce civil society shadow reports with which to lobby government bodies.

Recent reviews/observations by UN bodies

  • UPR: Peru underwent its Universal Periodic Review in November 2017
  • CEDAW: the Committee examined Peru’s combined seventh and eighth periodic reports in July 2014
  • CERD: the Committee examined periodic reports 18-21 in sessions held on 14 and 15 August 2014
  • Sustainable Development Objectives: voluntary submission from Peru in July 2017.

Visits by Rapporteurs and Commissioners:

United Nations system:

There are no UN Special Rapporteur visits planned in the near future. An official visit by the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes was planned for May 2017 with the aim of visiting different areas, including indigenous territories affected by pollution, but was suspended by the Peruvian government and the invitation not renewed. The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances made an official visit to Peru from 1 to 10 June 2015. The UN’s Working Group on Business and Human Rights undertook an official visit to Peru between 10 and 19 July 2017. On 23 October 2017, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, visited the country and urged the Peruvian state to “place human rights at the heart of development”.

Inter-American Commission:

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) visited the communities of Chiriaco (Amazon Region), Cuninico and Puerto Alegría (Loreto Region) on 8 and 9 July 2017, communities affected by oil spills from the NorPeruano oil pipeline, and they also met representatives of civil society in Lima.

Transparency and accountability

It is essential in the dialogue around implementing rights-based public policies that the Peruvian state demonstrates transparency and a desire for accountability in its commitments to indigenous peoples and their organisations.

This project made possible with support from the European Union

The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the Centre for Public Policies and Human Rights Perú EQUIDAD and should under no circumstances be considered to reflect the European Union’s opinion.

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Photos by Pablo Lasansky and IWGIA