Indigenous peoples “owners of their lands and forests,” says U.N. Special Rapporteur

27 Mar 2019

Photo Credit: (Under Creative Commons license) United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz at the launch of Victoria Tauli-Corpuzthe “Making a Killing” report, via Trocaire, by Garry Walsh.

Victoria Tauli Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, says that worldwide, Indigenous Peoples are too often treated like “squatters” on their own lands. She was commenting on a decision in India’s Supreme Court that could mean the eviction of 1.1 million families whose claims to traditional lands had been rejected by the authorities, according to Ishan Kukreti, writing in the online journal DownToEarth.

Although the Supreme Court has put a temporary stay on the evictions until July 2019, millions of peoples’ lives have been thrown into limbo by the court decision, says the report. Millions more could also be discouraged from submitting claims under the Forest Rights Act.

“The basic premise of this ruling, which treats tribal people as illegal residents of the forest, is wrong — indigenous peoples are the owners of their lands and forests,” Tauli Corpuz said in a recent statement.

Read the full article on DownToEarth by clicking here.

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