On this day, 9 August 2020 – the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples – IWGIA re-affirms its commitment to promote, protect and defend the rights of Indigenous Peoples at a time when the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the rise of populist leaders and a shrinking civil space for human rights, are posing tremendous threats to their lives, lands and traditions.
Spending time with the Baka, as we have both done over several years, is a humbling experience. This group of over 40,000 spread between the forests of Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and Gabon, practice hunting and foraging as a traditional livelihood. Through their long history in the Congo Basin they have accumulated and passed on extensive ecological knowledge and sophisticated cultural mechanisms of egalitarianism, sharing and human-nature conviviality.
BANGKOK/GENEVA (4 June 2020) – A heavy-handed focus on countering national security threats and illegal drugs has resulted in serious human rights violations in the Philippines, including killings and arbitrary detentions, as well as the vilification of dissent, a new report by the UN Human Rights Office said Thursday. Persistent impunity and formidable barriers to accessing justice need to be urgently addressed, the report said.
On 29 May an estimated 20,000 tons of diesel fuel leaked into the soil and natural water system near the city of Norilsk in northern Siberia after a fuel storage tank belonging to a daughter company of Russian nickel and copper giant Nornickel collapsed. A few days later, on 3 June, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the incident a federal scale disaster.
The spread of COVID-19 in Africa, so far, has reportedly been lower and caused fewer fatalities than on other continents, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) fears a rapid acceleration of the spread of the pandemic in the coming months.i This would have a devastating outcome due to the region’s fragile health-care systems and particularly devastating consequences for the marginalised and vulnerable Indigenous communities on the continent.