UNSR Victoria Tauli-Corpuz

UN human rights experts call for independent probe into Philippines violations Print

acnudhGENEVA (7 June 2019) – UN human rights experts* today called on the United Nations to establish an independent investigation into human rights violations in the Philippines, citing a sharp deterioration in the situation of human rights across the country, including sustained attacks on people and institutions defending human rights.

"Given the scale and seriousness of the reported human rights violations we call on the Human Rights Council to establish an independent investigation into the human rights violations in the Philippines," said the independent experts, referring to the body made up of 47 UN Member States elected by the UN General Assembly.

"We have recorded a staggering number of unlawful deaths and police killings in the context of the so-called war on drugs, as well as killings of human rights defenders. Very few independent and effective investigations have taken place, independent media and journalists are threatened, the law has been weaponised to undermine press freedom, and the independence of the judiciary is undermined," the experts said.

ARGENTINA. Relatora Especial valora fallo de Tribunal de Neuquén que absuelve a miembros de comunidad mapuche Campo Maripe Print

caso campo maripe

"Celebro el fallo dictado el 26 de abril de 2019, por el Juez Ravizzolli de Neuquén, Argentina, absolviendo a miembros de la comunidad mapuche Campo Maripe del delito de usurpación", declaró la Sra. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Relatora Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas.

Como afirma el texto del fallo: "En una cuestión tan medular y sensible como es el hecho de determinar un derecho sobre cierta geografía de la provincia no puede utilizarse el derecho penal para dar una solución en un caso en el cual no hay sólo un interés particular sino generacional y transgeneracional que tiene consagración constitucional". 

"Espero que el fallo sea respetado y aplicado por el Estado Argentino y el Gobierno Provincial de Neuquén y sirva para construir una nueva relación con las comunidades indígenas basada en el pleno respeto a sus derechos", señalo la Relatora Especial.

Ver texto completo del fallo aquí

The Philippines: Renewed allegations against UN expert are "clearly retaliation" Print


GENEVA (1 May 2019) – UN human rights experts* have expressed grave concerns over renewed accusations brought against the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, by the Philippines authorities.

The Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations, Brigadier General Antonio Parlade, told a news conference in Manila on 13 March that the United Nations had been infiltrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines through Ms. Tauli-Corpuz.

"The new accusations levelled against Ms. Tauli-Corpuz are clearly in retaliation for her invaluable work defending the human rights of indigenous peoples worldwide, and in the Philippines," said the UN experts.

Statement of Ms Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. 18th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Print


Statement of Ms Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
18th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
New York, 24 April 2019

Madame Chairperson of the Permanent Forum,
Madame Chairperson of EMRIP
Distinguished Members of the Permanent Forum,
Excellencies, Indigenous representatives, ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honour for me to address the Permanent Forum and all those attending the interactive discussion on the human rights situation of indigenous peoples. Let me congratulate you Madame Chair, for being elected to this post and offer my continuing cooperation with the Forum.

In my intervention today, I would like to provide an update on my work as Special Rapporteur since I reported last year, and to elaborate on some of the activities I have been involved in under four, interrelated areas of work: the preparation of thematic reports; the conduct of country visits; the response to cases of alleged human rights violations; and the technical assistance and promotion of best practices.

Timor-Leste’s commitment to customary justice and conservation sets examples for other countries Print


DILI/GENEVA (16 April 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, says Timor-Leste's drive to promote indigenous customary practices has contributed to the progress in building the nation since the restoration of independence less than 20 years ago.

"I am impressed by the pride the Timorese take in their cultural heritage and how indigenous practices have translated into important gains in environmental protection and biodiversity," she said. "These can serve as inspiring examples for other countries."

End of mission statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz on her visit to Timor-Leste Print

 VICTORIA TAULI-CORPUZIn my capacity as Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, I have visited Timor-Leste from 8 to 16 April 2019. I thank the Government for having invited me and for its excellent cooperation during the visit.

I would especially like to appreciate the open and constructive dialogue that characterised all my discussions with authorities.

During my visit, I met with the President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Minister for Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs, the Minister for Education, Youth and Sports, the Minister for Justice, senior representatives of several Ministries, members of the judiciary, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Public Defender's Office, the independent national human rights institution (Provedora de Direitos Humanos e Justica), parliamentarians, several traditional Elders (Lia Nain) and a broad range of civil society organisations.

Indigenous justice systems and harmonisation with the ordinary justice system’ - SR IP Report to the Human Rights Council 2019 Print

acnudhIndigenous peoples' own systems of justice is a subject which has recurrently been addressed by the Special Rapporteur's mandate, including through country visits, communications, and in seminars and conferences. The main concerns which have been raised by indigenous peoples are the lack of effective recognition of, and support for, their systems of justice by local, regional and national level authorities; ongoing discriminatory and prejudicial attitudes against indigenous peoples and their systems of justice; and the lack of effective methods of coordination between their justice systems and the State ordinary justice authorities. The observance of international human rights standards by both the ordinary and indigenous justice systems, particularly regarding the rights of women, children and persons with disabilities is also a concern that deserves due consideration.

Timor-Leste: UN expert on rights of indigenous peoples to visit Print

acnudhGENEVA.– The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, will carry out an official visit to Timor-Leste from 8 to 16 April. During her visit, Tauli-Corpuz will examine diverse issues affecting indigenous peoples, including customary justice systems, community land issues, education, conservation and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

"I look forward to learn about Timorese culture and how the young Timorese nation is addressing challenges such as ensuring access to justice and the exercise of land rights," said the Special Rapporteur.

"I will also study conservation measures and how Timor-Leste is dealing with the impacts of climate change," she noted.

Meetings with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples - 18th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Print

acnudhThe Special Rapporteur, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, will hold individual meetings with representatives of indigenous peoples and organizations during the 18th annual session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York. The meetings will be held in the afternoon between 3 and 6 PM of 25th and 26th of April 2019. Representatives of indigenous peoples and organizations may request a meeting with her with regard to matters that fall within her mandate, including allegations of human rights violations.

PARAGUAY.Tras 20 años de espera, se concretó finalmente la titulación de la Finca 384, del Pueblo Ayoreo Totobiegosode​ Print

Paraguay Ayoreo

PARAGUAY. Indígenas del pueblo Ayoreo Totobiegosode recibieron el título del inmueble conocido como Finca 384, de 18.000 hectáreas, situado en el distrito de Puerto Casado, Patrimonio Natural y Cultural del pueblo Ayoreo Totobiegosode (Alto Paraguay, Chaco), por parte del Instituto Paraguayo del Indígena (INDI). El Estado paraguayo había pagado hace más de 20 años por esta propiedad que nunca pudo ser titulada, hasta ahora.

En un acto oficial, realizado el 21 de marzo de 2019,  la presidenta del Instituto Paraguayo del Indígena (INDI), Ana María Allen, procedió a la transferencia del título del inmueble. En la ocasión, Pohai Picanerai, presidente de la organización indígena Payipie Ichadie Totobiegosode (OPIT), asociación aglutinada a la Federación por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos Indígenas (FAPI) suscribió los documentos durante el acto de la firma de transferencia.

Recomendaciones de la Relatora Especial

La Relatora Especial sobre los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, tomó conocimiento detallado del caso del pueblo Ayoreo Totobiegosode durante du visita oficial a Paraguay realizada en noviembre de 2014. En su Informe de Misión a Paraguay ( A/HRC/30/41/Add.1) presentado al Consejo de Derechos Humanos en agosto de 2015, la Relatora Especial formuló recomendaciones a Paraguay relativas al caso del pueblo Ayoreo Totobiegosode:

Venezuela: UN experts condemn widespread rights violations reported during protests Print

acnudhGENEVA (21 March 2019) - Human rights violations which are reported to have taken place during protests in Venezuela have been condemned by UN human rights experts* as systematic and pervasive.

"We are deeply concerned about the rapidly deteriorating economic, social and political situation in Venezuela and call upon the authorities to take urgent and immediate measures to address this complex crisis, with full respect for their international human rights obligations," the experts said.

Call for inputs on upcoming country visit to Timor Leste 8 to 16 April 2019 Print

acnudhThe Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples is collecting information in preparation of her upcoming country visit to Timor Leste which will take place from 8 to 16 April 2019.

In accordance with the established practice of mandate-holders, the Special Rapporteur welcomes all relevant submissions that indigenous organisations and other stakeholders may wish to transmit for her consideration in preparation of this visit, such as:

  • Recent analytical reports or surveys relating to the mandate of the Special Rapporteur;
  • Information on relevant policies, programmes and legal framework;
  • Priority issues/concerns and situations that warrant the attention of the Special Rapporteur;
  • Suggestions on issues to examine and related locations to visit;
  • Contact info for organisations and civil society representatives to meet in different locations.

Among the topics the Special Rapporteur is particularly interested in receiving information on: customary justice systems, the impact of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, conservation, education and community land issues. Submissions on other topics are also welcomed.

Kindly submit information by 20 March 2019 to indigenous@ohchr.org. Please indicate "Visit to Timor Leste 2019" in the subject heading of the email submission.

Nota técnica sobre la consulta y el consentimiento libre, previo e informado de los pueblos indígenas en México Print


Nota técnica sobre la consulta y el consentimiento libre,
previo e informado de los pueblos indígenas en México

Febrero de 2019

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz,
Relatora Especial de Naciones Unidas
sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas

Desde mi visita oficial a México, en noviembre de 2017, he seguido con atención las acciones encaminadas a la implementación de las recomendaciones realizadas en mi informe de misión (A/HRC/39/17/Add.2). En este contexto, quisiera expresar mi profunda preocupación al Gobierno de México en relación con la información recibida por mi mandato en los últimos meses acerca de proyectos de inversión anunciados por el  Gobierno que podrían afectar los derechos de los pueblos indígenas y en particular, la intención de realizar consultas ciudadanas para recabar la opinión de la población nacional en general sobre la ejecución o no de esos proyectos. Falta claridad sobre como las consultas previstas tendrán en cuenta las obligaciones del Estado mexicano de implementar procesos específicos de consulta previa con los pueblos indígenas potencialmente afectados con el fin de obtener su consentimiento libre, previo e informado.

La nota técnica adjunta recapitula la importancia, el objetivo y la finalidad de los derechos de consulta y consentimiento libre, previo e informado de los pueblos indígenas. He decidido hacer pública dicha nota que espero sea una contribución constructiva en las discusiones sobre la materia.

La nota técnica quiere subrayar que los procesos de consulta ciudadana diseñados para la población nacional en general no garantizan las salvaguardas de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas consagradas en los estándares internacionales de derechos de los pueblos indígenas.

Guatemala Congress must not pass “amnesty” bill for rights violations, say UN experts Print

acnudhGENEVA (11 March 2019) – UN human rights experts* are urging the Congress of Guatemala not to pass a new bill which would set up a general amnesty for serious human rights violations committed during the armed internal conflict.

The bill seeks to amend Guatemala's National Reconciliation Law which has been the basis of trials involving human rights violations in the country since the peace accords of 1996, and would establish an automatic mechanism for extinguishing the criminal responsibility of all those responsible for serious violations of human rights committed during that period.

"The approval of these reforms would seriously affect victims' rights to justice, truth, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition. It could also lead to reprisals and attacks against victims, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, plaintiffs, witnesses, experts and others involved in human rights trials, putting their own safety and that of their families at risk," the experts said.

Indonesia: UN experts condemn racism and police violence against Papuans, and use of snake against arrested boy Print

acnudhGENEVA (21 February 2019) - Prompt and impartial investigations must be carried out into numerous cases of alleged killings, unlawful arrests, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of indigenous Papuans by the Indonesian police and military in West Papua and Papua provinces, say a group of UN human rights experts*.

In the latest reported case, a video was circulated online of a handcuffed indigenous Papuan boy being interrogated by Indonesian police with a snake wrapped around his body. The boy, who was arrested on 6 February for allegedly having stolen a mobile phone, is heard screaming in fear while the laughing police officers push the snake's head towards his face.

"This case reflects a widespread pattern of violence, alleged arbitrary arrests and detention as well as methods amounting to torture used by the Indonesian police and military in Papua," the experts said.

Enhancing and Promoting Indigenous Peoples. Knowledge and Innovations for Climate Resilience and Sustainable Development Print


Keynote Address: Indigenous Peoples' Forum in IFAD,
4th Global Session, 12-14 February 2019,
IFAD Headquarters, Rome, Italy

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz,
UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Mr. Gilbert Houngbo, President of IFAD, Mr. Paul Winters, Members of the Governing Council of IFAD, the Senior Management and staff of IFAD, members of the Indigenous Peoples' Steering Committee, Indigenous representatives, ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honor for me to speak at this opening plenary of the 4th Global Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples' Forum at IFAD. I always look forward to attending this Forum because it represents what can possibly be achieved through a partnership between indigenous peoples and a UN Multilateral Financial Institution. For many of us, indigenous peoples, we started knowing IFAD only in 2001. It has not been that long but many milestones have been achieved between then and now. The theme "Promoting Indigenous Peoples' Knowledge and Innovations for Climate Resilience and Sustainable Development" is so apt as several of the gains achieved by indigenous peoples since the Forum in 2017 speak to this theme.

Brazil: UN experts call for probe into deadly dam collapse Print

acnudhGENEVA (30 January 2019) - UN human rights experts* have called for a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the collapse of a tailing dam in Minas Gerais, Brazil, on 25 January 2019, the second such incident involving the same company in the past three years.

Dozens were killed and hundreds left missing by the disaster involving the Córrego do Feijão mine owned by the mining company Vale. Experts expressed their deepest condolences to the families of the victims and solidarity to those affected by the catastrophic collapse of the tailing dam.

The tragedy demands accountability and calls into question preventive measures taken subsequent to the Samarco mining disaster in Minas Gerais just over three years ago, when a catastrophic flood of mining waste near Mariana killed 19 people and affected the lives of millions, including indigenous communities." the experts said.**

To keep the planet flourishing, 30% of Earth needs protection by 2030 Print


The move would safeguard biodiversity, slow extinctions, and help maintain a steady climate, a leading group of conservationists say.

This week a United Nations working group responded to a joint statement posted online in December by some of the world's largest conservation organizations calling for 30 percent of the planet to be managed for nature by 2030—and for half the planet to be protected by 2050. But exactly what counts as "protected"—and how countries can reach those goals—is still up for debate. (direct download)

Conservationists say these high levels of protection are necessary to safeguard benefits that humans derive from nature—such as the filtration of drinking water and storage of carbon that would otherwise increase global warming. The areas are also needed to prevent massive loss of species.

Jair Bolsonaro's stance on indigenous people is 'discriminatory and racist' Print


Brazil's new president, Jair Bolsonaro, has wasted little time in targeting the country's indigenous people. UN rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz told DW that a move to expand farming will put indigenous rights at risk.

DW: Jair Bolsonaro has issued an executive order making the Agriculture Ministry responsible for deciding what to do with lands claimed by indigenous peoples, stripping power from the indigenous affairs agency, FUNAI. How do you see these developments?

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz: This is a regressive move, because the Agriculture Ministry is the agency which supports the expansion of the areas for the production of crops for export and for cattle ranching. Putting FUNAI under a body which has the function of facilitating the expansion of agriculture, including to the indigenous peoples' lands and territories, will potentially undermine FUNAI's mandate which is to protect the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and territories.

What can possibly happen is that FUNAI's mandate will be changed or its resources and powers will be reduced significantly which will make it very weak in terms of performing its role of protecting the rights of indigenous peoples.

Guatemala: UN experts concerned indigenous leader convicted in retaliation for opposition to Oxec hydro project Print

GENEVA (19 December 2018) – UN rights experts have expressed concerns over the jailing of an indigenous leader and human rights defender in Guatemala following opposition to a hydro-electric dam project.

Bernardo Caal Xól, who was sentenced in November to seven years and four months' imprisonment, has represented the q'eqchí' communities in Santa Maria Cahabón municipality in legal actions against the Oxec company's project since 2015.

"The criminalisation of Mr. Caal Xól was preceded by virulent defamation campaigns in media, depicting him as a violent criminal acting against the interest of the nation," said the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, who visited Guatemala in May 2018 and met him in prison in Cobán.

"When we met, Mr. Caal Xól expressed serious concerns over his personal security in prison. I urge that his effective protection be ensured," the independent expert said.

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