Defending Indigenous People’s Rights in Cambodia

Today marks the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. CAFOD’s Programme Officer in Cambodia, Sorphoarn Sok meets indigenous land activist Hean Heak to find out more about how he is helping his indigenous community stand up for their rights in Cambodia and defend their land from land grabs by large companies.

Activist Hean Heak is from Ngorn, a remote village in Kampong Thom province in central Cambodia which is home to the Kuoy Indigenous Peoples.

Be an activist – get involved with CAFOD’s campaigns

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The long road to peace in Guatemala

At the beginning of a new year, Laura Ouseley in our communications team has been looking into the situation in Guatemala and hoping for a brighter and more peaceful future for Guatemala’s indigenous peoples.

Indigenous women from Alta Verapaz supported by CAFOD’s local Church partner Pastoral Social - Caritas Verapaz
Indigenous women from Alta Verapaz supported by CAFOD’s local Church partner Pastoral Social – Caritas Verapaz

Twenty years have passed since Guatemala’s decades-long internal armed conflict was ended with Peace Accords signed in 1996. An estimated 200,000 civilians were killed or disappeared during the conflict, most at the hands of the military, police and intelligence services.

The 1996 Peace Accords aimed not just to put an end to the conflict, but to address its underlying causes, and to guarantee the rights of victims to truth, justice, reparation and no-repetition.

Find out more about CAFOD’s work in Guatemala

But despite being ‘at peace’ for twenty years, the country remains one of the most dangerous places in the world, and those who suffered most in the conflict – indigenous peoples – continue to face discrimination and poverty. So, what has been achieved over the last 20 years, and have indigenous peoples and women been able to access the justice they were promised?

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Spotlight on Brazil: protecting indigenous peoples

Esther Gillingham is CAFOD’s Brazil Programme Officer. As the Olympic Games get underway in Rio, this World Indigenous Day (9 August) Esther turns the spotlight on our work with Brazil’s indigenous peoples.

Brazil is once again under the world’s spotlight. Just two years ago, Brazil spent roughly USD3.6bn of public money on stadiums for the 2014 World Cup. Now, when 25.8 million Brazilians live in poverty, and the country is experiencing its worst political and economic crisis in decades, Brazil is hosting a second mega sporting event: the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro from 5 to 21 August.

7 facts about Brazil you probably won’t hear at the Olympics

Brazil’s most vulnerable

In preparation, an estimated £3.8bn of taxpayers’ money has been spent and 77,000 people have been evicted from their homes. Here in the UK, I’ve found it difficult to ignore the headlines about the Zika virus, entrenched political corruption, and Olympics-related security breaches. But we rarely, if ever, hear about the threats posed to Brazil’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

On 14 July 2016, CAFOD’s partner, CIMI Tefé (Indigenous Missionary Council) organised a demonstration of indigenous leaders in defence of their rights, and presented a petition to the authorities demanding effective implementation of public policies. (Credit: CIMI Tefe)
On 14 July 2016, CAFOD’s partner, CIMI Tefé (Indigenous Missionary Council) organised a demonstration of indigenous leaders in defence of their rights, and presented a petition to the authorities demanding effective implementation of public policies. (Credit: CIMI Tefe)

Continue reading “Spotlight on Brazil: protecting indigenous peoples”