Indigenous Rights

Proposed Animal Protection Legislation Ignores Rights of Local Communities to Practice their Approach to Conservation

On the battleground that has become African wildlife conservation, rural communities find themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war that is bound to the past on one side, and their future, on the other.

New Constitution Would Declare Chile a Plurinational State

Chile could change the course of its history and become a diverse and multicolored country this year with a “plurinational and intercultural state” that recognizes and promotes the development of the native peoples that inhabited this territory before the Spanish conquest.

Changing a System that Exploits Nature and Women, for a Sustainable Future

"Pachamama (Mother Earth) is upset with all the damage we are doing to her," says Hilda Roca, an indigenous Peruvian farmer from Cusipata, in the Andes highlands of the department of Cuzco, referring to climate change and the havoc it is wreaking on her life and her environment.

Struggle in Guatemala Offers Hope for Latin America’s Indigenous People

A struggle for the defense of their territories waged by indigenous Maya Q'eqchi' communities in eastern Guatemala could set a historic precedent for Latin America's native peoples because it would ensure not only their right to control their lands but also their natural resources, denied for centuries.

Alarm: Every Two Weeks a Mother Tongue Disappears Due to Globalisation

“Every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world.”

Human Rights Violations and Culture of Impunity in South Asia

As countries across South Asia continue to battle the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, causing serious public health and economic crisis, this region, which is home to almost 2 billion people, is also grappling with the erosion of democratic norms, growing authoritarianism, the crackdown on freedom of press, speech and dissent.

No Vaccine for the Pandemic of Violence Against Women in Latin America

Despite significant legal advances in Latin American countries to address gender-based violence, it continues to be a serious challenge, especially in a context of social crisis aggravated by the covid-19 pandemic, which hits women especially hard.

Social Movement Voices Fall on Deaf Ears of Governments at COP26

One element that runs through all social movement climate summits is their rejection of the official meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the low ambition of its outcomes - and the treaty's 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) was no exception.

Indigenous Peoples Want to Move Towards Clean Energy Sovereignty

In the community of Bella Bella on Turtle Island in the western Canadian province of British Columbia, the indigenous Heiltsuk people capture heat from the air through devices in 40 percent of their homes, in a plan aimed at sustainable energy sovereignty.

In Glasgow, Indigenous People Pound the Table for Their Rights

"For my people, the effects of climate change are an everyday reality. The rainy season is shorter and when it rains, there are floods. And we've suffered droughts." said Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, a member of the Wodaabe or Mbororo pastoral people of Chad.

Indigenous Communities & Human Rights Defenders Under Siege in Colombia

On 21 October, I had the honor of addressing the UN Security Council at the annual open debate on Women, Peace and Security. I spoke as a member of Cxhab Wala Kiwe, which means “Great People’s Territory” in the Nasa Yuwe language, also known as ACIN—Association of Indigenous Councils of the North of Cauca—in Colombia.

Indigenous Peoples in Mexico Defend Their Right to Water

In the San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan Otomí indigenous community, in the state of Mexico –adjacent to the country’s capital–, access to water has been based on collective work.

Even as IUCN Congress Closes, Conservation Debate Hots Up

One of the most hotly debated issues at the recently concluded IUCN Congress in Marseilles was about designating 30 percent of the planet's land and water surface as protected areas by 2030.

Solar Energy Revitalises Indigenous and Farming Communities in Chile

Communities in Arica y Parinacota, the region in the extreme north of Chile, are using solar energy and are being empowered by projects for shrimp and trout farming, the production of yarn from camelid wool, the production of tomatoes and cheese, and even the sale of surplus solar power to the national electric grid.

Indigenous Peoples Need Recognition, Reciprocity & a New Social Contract

The coronavirus pandemic has invited the world to reflect on relationships – between people within and across countries and communities, and between people and nature around the planet.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2021

Indigenous peoples live in all regions of the world. They are distinct social and cultural groups and share collective ancestral ties to the land they live on.

When Branded as a Born Criminal: The Plight of India’s De-Notified Tribes

Branded as being born ‘criminal’ 150 years ago under British colonial rule, De-Notified Tribes (DNTs) continue to bear the brunt of the various laws that stigmatised them since 1871.

Bangladesh’s Indigenous Forest Dwellers Fear Losing Ancestral Land as Officials Grapple with Land Grabs

When the Bangladesh Forest Department felled Basanti Rema’s banana orchard, Rema, a Garo indigenous forest-dweller of Madhupur Forest, felt she was living a nightmare. Rema, from Pegmari village in Madhupur, Tangail district, had cultivated the banana plants on half an acre in the Madhupur Forest. But the Forest Department claimed that the land on which the bananas were cultivated belonged to the department. 

Weaponizing Science in Global Food Policy

In July, the United Nations will convene “Science Days”, a high-profile event in preparation for the UN Food Systems Summit later this year. Over the course of two days, the world will be treated to a parade of Zoom sessions aimed at “highlighting the centrality of science, technology and innovation for food systems transformation.”

Agro-industry Surrounds Xingu Indigenous Territory in Brazil

Watatakalu Yawalapiti is 40 years old. She was born in the Amakapuku village, surrounded by a large preserved forest in the heart of Brazil. She spent part of her childhood on the white sands and clear waters of the Tuatuari river. At other times, she would sit in a circle listening to her great-grandfather telling stories, like the one about how the white man would arrive with a huge blade and cut down the trees as one shaves one's body hair.

I Entered My Country’s House of Justice and Found a Snake Charmer’s Temple

On a Sunday night on 21 March 2021, gunmen stopped Juan Carlos Cerros Escalante (age 41) as he walked from this mother’s home to his own in the village of Nueva Granada near San Antonio de Cortés (Honduras). The gunmen opened fire in front of a catholic church, killing this leader of United Communities in front of his children. Forty bullets were found at the scene.

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