Native races are threatened by the cultural invasion of civilized outsiders who expropriate land, practise ethnocide and destroy existing social and religious structures, leaving the way open for prostitution, alcoholism, dependency and general social disintegration. Assimilation programmes are often inadequate and do not take enough account of the existing cultural base. Semi-slavery may ensue. Native races are also highly susceptible to disease brought by outsiders, for which they have no resistance and which are often fatal to them. Where political power is held by an ethnic minority, certain indigenous peoples are often denied proper political, cultural and economic well being through ethnic oppression and even ethnocide.
Programmes to repress indigenous peoples are actively supported by governments and businesses in many parts of North and Latin America, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Repressive, discriminatory practices can be found worldwide.