9 December, 2016

National census will reveal ethnic diversity of the peruvian population

Census will include ethnic self-identification questions. Government formalized an advisory commission, where indigenous and Afro-Peruvian leaders represent ethnic groups.

Foto: CHIRAPAQ archive.

The process of the XII Population Census, Housing VII and III of Indigenous Communities of 2017 has officially started with the formation of the Consultative Commission of the National Censuses, by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

For the first time in Peruvian history, the census will include questions of ethnic self-identification. This will mark a milestone in the construction of more real statistics on the diversity and composition of the national population.

The inclusion of ethnic self-identification in population statistics has been a demand formulated more than 20 years ago by indigenous and Afro-descendant organizations. This demand was heard in 2013, when the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) formed the Inter-Institutional Technical Committee on Statistics of Ethnicity (CTIEE).

This committee was made up of representatives of different state agencies, academia, international cooperation and Afro-descendant and indigenous organizations, including CHIRAPAQ.

Throughout 3 years, CTIEE has prepared the details of the implementation of the census, from the formulation of the questions to the communication strategies and needs, as well as the dissemination of results and analysis.

The CTIEE has appointed its representatives to the Advisory Committee in the spaces reserved for ethnic groups. The commission also includes the President of the Republic, representatives of all ministries, national universities, INEI, SUNEDU, CEPLAN and independent experts.

The designated representatives are Gladis Vila Pihue, of the National Organization of Indigenous Andean and Amazonian Women of Peru (ONAMIAP), and Cecilia Ramírez, of the Center for the Development of Peruvian Black Women (CEDEMUNEP). Both have an outstanding track record as activists and defenders of the rights of their respective peoples.

With its designation, the CTIEE hopes to contribute to the implementation of self-identification questions, which are specifically two and are in the final validation phase by INEI.

The censuses will be held by the middle of next year and will pose serious logistical challenges in the processes of awareness for self-identification about which we will deal soon.