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

News | 23-02-2015
Land GrabbingPeasants' RightsWaterAgrarian Reform

Dealing in Africa with land issues in a human rights perspective

A new Haki Zetu booklet, co-published by FIAN and Amnesty International, on "Land and Human Rights" provides information and guidance on how to defend land rights, monitor land policies and violations, advocate, campaign and seek redress for land-related violations.    Read more

News | 17-12-2014
NepalIncome and Social SecurityIndigenous PeoplesNutrition

Nepal to address causes of poverty and malnutrition with a human rights-based strategy

FIAN International welcomes the Concluding Observations by the UN Committee on ESCR to Nepal, which reflect many of the suggestions brought forward in the Parallel Report of FIAN Nepal    Read more

News | 02-12-2014
UgandaIncome and Social SecurityIndigenous PeoplesLand Grabbing

Uganda in the spotlight this week at the UN concerning human rights violations

FIAN International and the Uganda Coalition on ESCR present their concerns before the pre-session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and request the Government of Uganda to take steps towards the full realization of these rights in the country    Read more

News | 12-11-2014
EcuadorSwedenIndigenous PeoplesExtraterritorial Obligations

Ecuadorian human rights defender visits Sweden

FIAN Sweden hosts the Indigenous leader Miriam Chuchuca from Kimsakocha (Ecuador) this month in a national tour to raise awareness about the ten-year long struggle of the communities against the establishment of a mine in the wetlands of Kimsakocha.    Read more

Statement | 10-11-2014
BrazilIndigenous Peoples

Brazilian State to comply with its human rights obligations

In a letter to the Brazilian authorities, the International Council of FIAN International manifests indignation of new acts of brutal violence against the Guarani-Kaiowá peoples.    Read more

News | 17-10-2014
BrazilBelgiumSwitzerlandIndigenous Peoples

Speakers’ tour in Europe drew attention to the violence against Guarani-Kaiowá communities

Organized in Europe with a delegation from Brazil, a two-week Speakers Tour took place to raise awareness of the international community on the ongoing violence against the Guarani-Kaiowá indigenous communities of Brazil due to their fight to defend the right to territory    Read more

Statement | 16-10-2014
BrazilGlobal GovernanceIndigenous Peoples

No Compromise on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

A collective statement demanded the protection of indigenous peoples' right of a Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).    Read more

Press Release | 16-09-2014
BrazilBelgiumSwitzerlandIndigenous Peoples

Speakers Tour on the Guarani-Kaiowá kicks off in Europe

16 September 2014 marks the beginning of a two-week tour in Europe on the indigenous Guarani-Kaiowá communities of Brazil.    Read more

Open Letter | 16-06-2014
ParaguayIndigenous PeoplesJusticiability

Historic victory for Sawhoyamaxa indigenous community in Paraguay

Expropriation bill enables community to return to its ancestral lands after over twenty years of struggle and resistance    Read more

Statement | 29-04-2014
ParaguayIndigenous PeoplesJusticiabilityMonitoring and Accountability

Expropriation bill brings closer return of the Sawhoyamaxa ancestral lands

FIAN welcomes the Paraguayan Senate’s approval of a bill that would restitute the ancestral territory to the Sawhoyamaxa indigenous community    Read more