Indigenous Peoples

Young Guarani- Kaiowa man in face paint © FIAN International
Indigenous peoples have endured a long history of exploitation and exclusion, dating back to the period of colonization. Discrimination continues to this day in areas such as access to land, healthcare, education and political participation.  Many communities live in extreme poverty and have to fight for their ancestral lands, which the state or companies lay claim upon.   Since many/the majority of indigenous peoples depend on their lands and territories in order to feed themselves the results are all too often hunger and malnutrition.

Legal protections are often insufficient to protect indigenous peoples

In the majority of cases indigenous peoples face hunger because their access to land is denied or their livelihoods are destroyed, for example, by public development projects, mining projects or the current agrofuels boom.  

The rights of indigenous peoples, especially their collective land rights, are internationally protected by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). However, despite legal protection, the human rights of indigenous peoples are often violated.  

FIAN's Work

FIAN's work on the rights of indigenous people aims to increase national and international awareness about violations of the rights of indigenous people and to analyze the relevance of the issue from a human rights perspective.  

FIAN contributes to resolving concrete cases of human rights violations,  to ensuring implementation of legal protection of the rights of indigenous peoples at national and international levels and to developing additional human rights protection standards for individuals, groups or communities threatened by landlessness and forced evictions.

Latest News

Press Release | 10-11-2017
Climate Change Extraterritorial Obligations Indigenous Peoples Natural Resources

International delegation pays visit to monitor progress of right to food violations

Delegates from FIAN International, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal visited emblematic cases in the south-west of Nepal, to assess progress, following years of coordinated mobilization and advocacy efforts.

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Press Release | 06-11-2017
Agrarian Reform Agrofuels Extraterritorial Obligations Gender

New strategy to empower the people, dismantle corporate influence

Convening in Nepal, FIAN representatives the world over identified the current struggles for the right to food and nutrition and strategized about building people’s power.

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Press Release | 19-09-2017
Indigenous Peoples Land Grabbing Peasants' Rights Brazil

Caravana Matopiba urges Brazilian authorities to take action, warns foreign investors

While uncovering the appalling living conditions of affected communities, the delegation points to the involvement of international capital from Europe, Canada and the US in large-scale land acquisition.

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Press Release | 19-09-2017
Indigenous Peoples Brazil #tekohaisLife

Talks on indigenous Tekohá on both sides of the Atlantic

Increasingly unprotected amidst a context of political turmoil and rising racism in Brazil, Guarani and Kaiowá leaders bring to the table the realities facing their communities, which account for 45.000 indigenous people.

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News | 19-09-2017
Indigenous Peoples Brazil #tekohaisLife

‘Tekohá Is Life’ is launched

In a world deeply disconnected from nature, ‘Tekohá is Life’ will shed light on the struggles of the Guarani and Kaiowá indigenous peoples and aim to boost the understanding of non-dominant and more sustainable approaches to mother earth.

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Press Release | 12-09-2017
Indigenous Peoples Land Grabbing Peasants' Rights Brazil

Caravana Matopiba uncovers alarming human and environmental costs of agribusiness

During its visits, the delegation observed high levels of agrochemical pollution, diminishing natural resources, land grabbing, as well as significant impact on the health of traditional communities, resulting from increasing soy plantations.

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Press Release | 12-09-2017
Agrarian Reform Agrofuels Climate Change Extraterritorial Obligations

The World Food Crisis: The Way Out

With the world still trapped in a multifold crisis, this year’s Right to Food and Nutrition Watch will take stock of the past decade and present thought-provoking discussions and alternative solutions for finding our way out.

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Press Release | 04-09-2017
Indigenous Peoples Land Grabbing Natural Resources Peasants' Rights

International mission to measure human rights impact of land grabbing kicks off

An international delegation will travel across the Brazilian region of MATOPIBA to document the social, economic, environmental and human rights impact of large-scale land acquisitions.

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Press Release | 18-08-2017
Indigenous Peoples Brazil Guarani

Brazil Supreme Court backs indigenous peoples

In an extraordinary session held this week, the Supreme Court recognized indigenous peoples' rights to the ancestral territories, disregarding the controversial “Marco temporal” theory.

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News | 07-06-2017
Indigenous Peoples Argentina Bolivia Brazil

IACHR meets European counterparts at a critical time

Strengthening the inter-American human rights system must come first for the Americas and be reflected on the EU-OAS dialogue.

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