Categories Global, Indigenous people’s rights and human rights, Newsflash, Resources, World

Activists Launch New Global Initiative Against Criminalisation of Indigenous Peoples

First published on 12/17/2019, and last updated on 12/19/2019

By Holly Jonas, ICCA Consortium International Policy Coordinator.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and Joan Carling are well known in their roles as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and as Co-Convenor for the Indigenous Peoples Major Group for Sustainable Development, respectively. Not only are both women from the Philippines and renowned global activists for indigenous peoples’ rights, but both have also been criminalised for their decades of work – branded as ‘terrorists’ along with more than 600 others by the government of the Philippines.

They have now come together in their own capacities to establish a new global initiative that aims to prevent, respond, reduce and prevent acts of criminalisation and impunity against indigenous peoples and to provide better protection and access to justice for actual and potential victims – individuals as well as collectives and communities.

Building on Tauli-Corpuz’s 2018 thematic study on attacks against and criminalisation of indigenous peoples defending their rights, a compilation of preliminary data on the extent of criminalisation of and impunity against indigenous peoples from 2017 to 2019 shows just the “tip of the iceberg” of the true scale of this crisis. The global database and initiative more broadly will continue to be developed and will be fully launched in April 2020 in conjunction with the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

For more information, please visit the global initiative webpage: If you are interested to contribute information to the database, please contact

Picture : © United Nations