Minority Groups

Minorities and indigenous people can often be overlooked in an emergency. As violence and persecution increasingly force millions to abandon their homes, UNHCR strives to show them they are not forgotten.

A minority is an ethnic, religious or linguistic group, fewer in number than the rest of the population. Indigenous people owned land in a territory before it was invaded or colonised.

In many parts of the world, these groups can be victims of severe human rights violations, violence, conflict, ethnic or religious persecution and, in extreme cases, genocide. As a result, they are often left with no choice but to flee.

At UNHCR, we work with governments and international organisations to protect minority groups, particularly women and children. We also aim, where possible, to help minority and indigenous communities maintain their cultural heritage and identity, and ensure vital access to healthcare, interpreters and accommodation.