Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is an indigenous leader from the Kankanaey Igorot people of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. Is a social development consultant, indigenous activist, civic leader, human rights expert, public servant, and an advocate of women’s rights in the Philippines.
She was the former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2005-2010). As an indigenous leader she got actively engaged in drafting and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. She helped build the indigenous peoples’ movement in the Cordillera as a youth activist in the early 1970s. She helped organize indigenous peoples in the community level to fight against the projects of the Marcos Dictatorship such as the Chico River Hydroelectric Dam and the Cellophil Resources Corporation. These communities succeeded in stopping these.
She is the founder and executive director of Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples’ International Center for Policy Research and Education). Ms. Tauli-Corpuz has founded and managed various NGOs involved in social awareness raising, climate change, the advancement of indigenous peoples’ and women’s rights. A member of the Kankana-ey Igorat peoples, she was the chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She is an Expert for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and has served as the chairperson-rapporteur of the Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations. She is also the indigenous and gender adviser of the Third World Network and a member of United Nations Development Programme Civil Society Organizations Advisory Committee.
“I decided to apply for this Special Procedure for several reasons. First, there is still a long way to go before indigenous peoples’ rights are effectively respected, protected and fulfilled. I can see the important role the SRIPR can play in helping States to implement more effectively their role as duty bearers of human rights. In this era, when many of the world’s remaining natural resources are largely found in indigenous peoples’ territories, there are increasing violations of their basic rights to lands, territories and resources and to self-determination and participation. This need not be the case. I think the SR can help governments understand better how the development visions and aspirations of indigenous peoples are consistent with sustainable development objectives and principles. Achieving sustainable development cannot be delinked from the need to respect and protect the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples”
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