Call for Research Papers within the context of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

Call for Research Papers within the context of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) issues a call for research papers within the context of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages.


The United Nations General Assembly declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages with the goal of preserving, revitalizing, and promoting indigenous languages. This initiative seeks to emphasize that indigenous languages form an important part of our cultural heritage and that each person should be able to use their native language as a prerequisite for the protection of their human rights. The production of high quality research and the development of new strategies in the field of indigenous issues are crucial to ensuring that the goals of the International Year of Indigenous Languages are met. To this end, UNESCO is issuing a call for research papers that cover at least one of the following key areas of intervention:

  1. Humanitarian affairs, peace-building and national development plans (e.g. during and post-conflict period, radicalization and other; assimilation, mapping and revitalization policies related to languages);
  2. Indigenous education and life-long learning;
  3. Indigenous knowledge in science and health (including interventions for epidemic or pandemic diseases; activism for climate change; water, bioethics and other);
  4. Gender equality (e.g. reproductive health education policies, role of indigenous women in intergenerational transmission);
  5. Social inclusion and urbanization, ethics and civic engagement (e.g. recognition of sign languages, youth engagement, open solutions and other issues);
  6. Cultural heritage and diplomacy (concept of equality of languages, cultural identity imbued in languages);
  7. Technology, digital activism, and artificial intelligence (e.g. language technology).

The researchers should identify gaps in existing research, gather qualitative and statistical data, and put together a set of conclusions and recommendations in order to raise awareness on the importance and impact of indigenous languages. In addition, the research papers will contribute to the achievement of the overarching five key objectives of International Year of Indigenous Languages:

  1. Informing about the importance of indigenous languages for social development;
  2. Creating greater awareness about the critical status of indigenous languages around the world;
  3. Stimulating intercultural debate around indigenous languages;
  4. Imparting new knowledge on the importance of indigenous languages;
  5. Shaping attitudes of relevant stakeholders about indigenous languages.

All researchers working in different fields and experts in subject areas who are interested in indigenous issues and languages are eligible. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2019.

More information about the research project, as well as details about submitting proposals can be found on UNESCO's website.