The Situation of Indigenous Languages in Asia
The main objective of this Briefing Paper on the Situation of Indigenous Languages in Asia is to build a comprehensive understanding of the situation of indigenous languages in Asia, including the data and statistics available on them, the challenges faced for their survival and the good
practices for their revitalization, preservation and promotion. Indigenous languages are crucial for the overall well-being and identity of indigenous peoples –not only as a means of communication but also as a repository of knowledge on their inter-relationships with their lands and resources, the environment as well as for their understanding of the worldview.
This publication has come at a time when the International Decade on Indigenous Languages has just been launched. The United Nations General Assembly (Resolution A/RES/74/135) proclaimed the period between 2022 and 2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (IDIL 2022-2032), to draw global attention on the critical situation of many indigenous languages and to mobilize stakeholders and resources for their preservation, revitalization and promotion.
This Decade aims at ensuring indigenous peoples’ right to preserve, revitalize and promote their languages, and mainstreaming linguistic diversity and multilingualism aspects into the sustainable development efforts. It offers a unique opportunity to collaborate in the areas of policy development and stimulate a global dialogue in a true spirit of multi-stakeholder engagement, and to take necessary for the usage, preservation, revitalization and promotion of indigenous languages around the world.
In line with the objectives of the International Decade, this briefing paper will help as a tool in Asia that will contribute to building a global community for indigenous languages, facilitate information-sharing on activities and events organized at the different levels, promote relevant resources, report and monitor progress made, and create new opportunities for exchange and dialogue among a wide network of stakeholders.