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Minority and Indigenous Trends 2023 – Focus on water

20 June 2023

The past year saw some of the worst cyclones recorded in the Pacific, some of the costliest and worst ever recorded floods in Australia, Pakistan and across the African continent, coupled with major droughts affecting parts of Central, East and Southern Africa, the Americas, Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East, prompting many experts to declare that the planet’s water cycle has been severely disrupted due to human activity. For members of minorities, indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups, the water crisis is often an existential threat affecting numerous rights such as to life, health, self-governance, sanitation and culture. Water justice cannot be attained unless the communities that protect water systems from the threats of extractivism, overuse and pollution are prioritized in the international arena. Community-led solutions, drawing on traditional knowledge systems, are the key to solving the water crisis.

This year’s Minority and Indigenous Trends report brings together three thematic chapters and over thirty case studies written by members of communities on the frontline of the water crisis, as well as leading water activists, researchers and policymakers. These first-hand accounts cover a range of issues, from conflict in water-stressed parts of the world to cultural forms of water conservancy and peaceful governance.  The ways in which water issues affect the lives of minority and indigenous women, children and people with disabilities, to mention a few intersectional aspects of the water crisis, are highlighted in this volume. Resolving the difficulties they face is an inextricable aspect of planetary water justice.

Download (PDF, English)


Nicolás Salazar Sutil

Commissioning Editor

Minority Rights Group