Recent reports by UN experts and human rights organizations document an alarming increase in violent attacks against and criminalisation of indigenous peoples defending their rights to their traditional lands and natural resources, particularly in the context of large-scale development projects. Intensifying global competition over natural resources increasingly makes indigenous communities taking action to protect their traditional lands and territories targets of persecution by State and non-State actors who want to silence them and dissuade others to support them.
New IWGIA project supports Ogiek communities in Kenya to get access to their ancestral land in the Mau Forest. The project focuses on ensuring the Ogiek peoples’ participation and the implementation of the historic ruling of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in favour of the Ogiek Peoples’ land claims, after nearly a decade of disputes and evictions of the Ogiek peoples from the Mau Forest.
Conference programme for "Defending the Defenders" - Building New Alliances for Protecting Indigenous Peoples' Rights"
Read the programme for the International conference in Copenhagen themed "Defending the Defenders - New Alliances for protecting indigenous peoples' rights" hosted by IWGIA.
In May 2002, United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) held its first official meeting in New York. This was as a result of a groundbreaking process where indigenous peoples in nearly a decade pushed the boundaries for how United Nations functioned and overcame difficult obstacles for their full and equal participation on the way.
This year the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) celebrates 50 years of defending indigenous peoples' rights and we want to share with you some of the facts we are proud of and some of the issues that affect the world's 370 million indigenous peoples.