COVID-19 in India: Reverse migration could destroy indigenous communities

Photo of a girl: India Arunachal Pradesh Mishmi by Chris Erni

Photo: Chris Erni // IWGIA

By – Dilip Chakma, Convenor, Indigenous Lawyers Association of India (ILAI) and Paritosh Chakma, Advisor, ILAI

Introduction

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared as a pandemic and its impact on the world is yet to be fully assessed. Indigenous peoples living on the margins of the society are unlikely to be considered in the scheme of responses and reactions by most of the States.

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Indigenous Peoples at increased risk due to coronavirus

Indigenous Peoples at increased risk due to coronavirus 

  • Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders are more at risk of being targeted, as movement is restricted and governments broaden laws 
  • Already marginalised, Indigenous Peoples chronically lack proper access to health resources and information, further exacerbating the risk to their communities in times of emergency 
  • Indigenous Peoples’ are responding to the pandemic using self-determined protection mechanisms  

COPENHAGEN 30 MARCH 2020 | As the spread of COVID-19 continuesIndigenous Peoples worldwide are in increasing danger of losing their lives and having their rights stripped away. 

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Greenlanders in Denmark voice their concerns to UN Special Rapporteur

On Tuesday night, before COVID-19 shut down most of Denmark, a dozen people gathered in Copenhagen to meet the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. The meeting, organised by IWGIA and the Greenlandic House, created a space for Greenlanders in Denmark to openly present and discuss the situation and challenges they face and are confronted with in Denmark.

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About IWGIA

IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. The Indigenous World 2019.

Contact IWGIA

Prinsessegade 29 B, 3rd floor
DK 1422 Copenhagen
Denmark
Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
E-mail: iwgia@iwgia.org
CVR: 81294410

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