Resources

Indigenous Peoples' Human Rights Defenders Network website launched on December 10th, 2010

http://www.iphrdefenders.net is dedicated to help advance advocacy for indigenous peoples' rights and issues in the Asia region. Contributions of articles, statements, photos, videos and other documents on human rights are welcomed. This website will be linked to the main Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) website and the main website of the Asia Human Rights Monitoring System (ARMS) project of the Southeast Asia e-Media Center based in Malaysia.

Guyana’s forest and climate plans continue to generate controversy and sideline indigenous peoples

While the President of Guyana was named a “Champion of the Earth” by the UN earlier this year in relation to his efforts to secure international support for forest protection and “low carbon” growth, some indigenous leaders and civil society organisations both inside and outside the country continue to expose and challenge the deep contradictions in the government’s forest and climate plans. In June 2010, the President of the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) made a strong statement to the Sixth Participant’s Committee meeting of the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) in Georgetown, asking why key land rights issues raised repeatedly by APA have still not been addressed in the Guyana Forestry Commission’s (GFC) latest REDD+ readiness proposals.

Press Release: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Agrees to hear case of Indigenous Peoples in Raposa Serra do Sol, Brazil

 

After years of waiting, during which they suffered from violent attacks and the degradation of their ancestral lands, the Ingaricó, Macuxi, Patamona, Taurepang and Wapichana indigenous peoples of Raposa Serra do Sol received a favorable decision by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  During its last session at the end of October, the Commission issued an admissibility decision in their case against the Government of Brazil. In doing so, the Commission signaled not only that the Government’s treatment of indigenous peoples in Raposa may constitute a violation of their human rights, but that the Commission is now ready to enter its final stage of review of the case and issue a concluding report.

Teribe people of Costa Rica demand their rights in relation to the Diquís Dam

For over 40 years, the Costa Rican government has planned the construction of one of the largest hydroelectric dams in Central America. The plan has been modified several times due to serious criticism for its potential negative environmental and social impacts – especially on indigenous peoples. In 2008, the government of Costa Rica declared the Diquís Dam as being of public interest and national convenience, giving full support for its construction. The proposed Diquís Dam will flood more than 10% of the traditional and titled lands of the Teribe people and more than 5% of those of the Cabécar People. The Teribe people consider the Diquís Dam as a grave threat to their survival as a people, since the Teribe total around only 750 individuals.

Press Release: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Agrees to Hear Case of Indigenous Peoples in Raposa Serra do Sol, Brazil, November 15th, 2010. Rainforest Foundation US and Forest Peoples Programme

 

After years of waiting, during which they suffered from violent attacks and the degradation of their ancestral lands, the Ingaricó, Macuxi, Patamona, Taurepang and Wapichana indigenous peoples of Raposa Serra do Sol received a favorable decision by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  During its last session at the end of October, the Commission issued an admissibility decision in their case against the Government of Brazil. In doing so, the Commission signaled not only that the Government’s treatment of indigenous peoples in Raposa may constitute a violation of their human rights, but that the Commission is now ready to enter its final stage of review of the case and issue a concluding report.

The Ancestral Forest in Sanjan Land

This article comes from our partners Institut Dayakologi and is taken from an original article by Dominikus Uyub in the Kalimantan Review magazine, in November 2010.

Brazilian advocates' and indigenous organizations' letter to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) concerning Belo Monte hydroelectric dam project in Brazil

A group of Brazilian advocates and indigenous organizations concerned about the large Belo Monte hydroelectric dam project in Brazil have written to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), urging them to adopt the Brazil - Raposa do Sol case, which is being assisted by Forest Peoples Programme, in this October session of the Commission.

Wayuu women in Colombia ask UN Permanent Forum to act

In July 2010, the Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu, an indigenous women’s organisation, created by and composed of members of the Wayuu community in Colombia, presented a report to the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), denouncing the multiple forms of human rights violations that Wayuu women experience due to their gender and because they belong to an indigenous group fighting for the recognition of their land rights in Colombia. 

Guyana: indigenous peoples continue to be left out

During May, the Norwegian Government announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Guyana to contribute US$230 million towards the country's Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). It only remained to be decided which financial agency would act as the intermediary with the fiduciary responsibility to make sure the monies were handed over with due care. Would this be the World Bank and what standards would the World Bank follow to supply this money?

Cameroon: The Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommends adoption of a law to protect the rights of indigenous peoples

At its 76th session held between 15 February and 12 March 2010, the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) examined Cameroon's 15th to 18th periodic reports. Numerous violations of indigenous peoples' rights (particularly those of the Baka, Bakola, Bagyeli and Bedzang people) had been raised in an earlier report submitted to the Committee by a network of NGOs from Cameroon. The information communicated by civil society informed the dialogue between the Committee and the Cameroonian State. The Committee then issued a series of recommendations pertaining to the situation of the Baka, Bakola, Bagyeli and Bedzang peoples in Cameroon, which included the right to education, access to justice and safety in protected areas.

Press Release Guyana - Indigenous leaders harassed for exercising their constitutional rights; criticized for demanding respect for their inherent land rights

Indigenous leaders, who chose to exercise their right to free speech as guaranteed in the Constitution of Guyana, are now being targeted by the government as a direct result of the public statement by participants at the Workshop on Indigenous Peoples' Rights, Extractive Industries and National Development Policies in Guyana. (See the public statement under related reports)Press Release issued by the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA)

Press Release - Guyana - Indigenous Peoples Demand Action on Land Rights, Consent Issues

At a week-long workshop on 'Indigenous Peoples' Rights, Extractive Industries and National Development Policies in Guyana' from 2-8 March 2010, the topics covered were: indigenous peoples' right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) and the extractive sector, the Government of Guyana's recent Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and REDD+ policies. Amerindian leaders shared their experiences of both public-sector and private development projects and proposals within their territories.

Ugandan Batwa meet with government leaders in Kampala

In December 2009, the Batwa community in south-west Uganda and their own representative organisation, the United Organisation of Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU), continued their efforts to secure their rights by holding a series of meetings with local and national level government representatives.

Kenya - Protected area violates indigenous peoples' rights says African Commission

A 'landmark' decision of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights has affirmed the right of the Endorois pastoralists of Kenya to own their customary lands and to 'free, prior and informed consent', rights which were violated when they were removed from a protected area. The decision invokes the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and draws on the findings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Indigenous lands of Raposa Serra do Sol in Brazil: continued need for urgent action

The Conselho Indígena de Roraima, Rainforest Foundation US and Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) submitted an update to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in January 2010, following their request for urgent action of July 2009. The update reports that indigenous peoples' rights in Brazil are being seriously threatened and that the Brazilian government has still failed to provide a full account of the status of the violent attacks against the indigenous peoples of Raposa, as requested by CERD.

Read submission update to CERD

Read all documents related to Raposa Serra do Sol