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UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples announces follow-up visit to Brazil

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GENEVA (3 March 2016) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, will carry out a visit to Brazil from 7 to 17 March 2016 to identify and assess the main issues currently facing indigenous peoples in the country. She will also follow up on key recommendations made by the previous Special Rapporteur in 2008.

“While the indigenous population in Brazil is relatively small, the challenges they are facing at the moment are overwhelming,” Ms. Tauli-Corpuz said. “I hope that this visit will help to bring to light some of their concerns and will lead to resolution to some long standing issues.”

“I will assess the implementation of my predecessor’s recommendations, including a follow up to the statutes and amendment proposals of concern to indigenous peoples, demarcation and protection of indigenous lands, impact of large-scale development projects as well as updates related to indigenous health,” the expert noted.

Ms. Tauli-Corpuz, who visits Brazil at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Brasilia and to the States of Mato Grosso Do Sul, Bahia and Pará. She will meet with Government and UN officials, a wide range of civil society and human rights organizations and other non-State actors, including those working on indigenous rights. She will also visit indigenous communities to hear directly from them about their issues and concerns.

“This is a timely and essential opportunity for me to engage with all actors and consider existing challenges, but also to identify positive initiatives taken by the Government, the civil society and indigenous leaders,” she stated.

Ms. Tauli-Corpuz will hold a press conference in Brasilia at the end of her visit on Thursday 17 March 2016 at 14:00 in the afternoon at the UN House in Brasilia. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

Following her visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report containing her findings and recommendations to the Brazilian Government and the UN Human Rights Council in September 2016.

(*) Check the 2008 report on Brazil by the former Special Rapporteur (A/HRC/12/34/Add.2):  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/SRIndigenousPeoples/Pages/CountryReports.aspx

The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Philippines), is a human rights activist working on indigenous peoples’ rights. Her work for more than three decades has been focused on movement building among indigenous peoples and also among women, and she has worked as an educator-trainer on human rights, development and indigenous peoples in various contexts. She is a member of the Kankana-ey, Igorot indigenous peoples in the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/SRIndigenousPeoples/Pages/SRIPeoplesIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

See the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/Pages/Declaration.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact Ms. Hee-Kyong Yoo (+41 22 917 97 23 or at +41 79 201 0119 during the visit / hyoo@ohchr.org) or write to indigenous@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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