March 16, 2018
On February 21, 2018, the government of the Philippines filed a legal petition to have a number of organizations, associations, and leaders declared as terrorist and outlaws pursuant to the National Security Act of 2007. To the shock of the world, this includes UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and Joan Carling, co-convener of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group on Sustainable Development, as well as 600 other Indigenous human rights defenders from across the country.
We ask you to help us stand in solidarity with Indigenous leaders in the Philippines! Take these 5 actions today:
1. Sign the Petition:
In just days, thousands have signed a petition to President Duterte to remove their names from the list of terrorists, to ensure the safety of all Indigenous Peoples leaders and human rights defenders, and to abide by State obligations to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including access to justice, freedom of expression and of association.
ADD YOUR NAME!
2. Send your Own Message
Write a respectful email to Philippine officials outlining your concerns and demanding that President Duterte do following:
- Remove the names of indigenous peoples’ leaders and human rights defenders from the list of alleged terrorists
- Ensure the physical safety of indigenous peoples’ leaders and human rights defenders, and
- Abide by State obligations to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including access to justice, freedom of expression and of association.
Email: Department of Justice - Office of the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Read our interview with Vicky Tauli Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the RIghts of Indigenous Peoples, accused terrorist: VICTORIA TAULI-CORPUZ TALKS TO CULTURAL SURVIVAL IN WAKE OF TERRORISM CHARGE BY PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT, by Terri Hansen.
- Read about five other brave Philippina activists facing criminal charges for their work: WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS DEMAND THE STOP OF THE DUTERTE REIGN OF TERROR
Browse our catalog of audio programs outlining the important work of 3 Indigenous human rights defenders from the Philippines, the organization the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance, and learn about issues facing Indigenous Human Rights Defenders Globally.
Vicky Tauli Corpuz
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz (Igorot Kankanaey, Philippines), a long-time activist and UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, shares her experience with successes of small, local groups reaching out to the international community to collaborate in better defending their rights. She explains how her experience as a nurse led to community engagement, which quickly turned into a passion for advocating for the needs of community members as an activist.
Joan Carling is an activist from the Kankanaey people of the Philippines. She has served as an Expert Member on the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during 2014 and 2016, and as the Secretary General of the Asia Indigenous Pact. In this interview, she explains the benefits of the participation of Indigenous Peoples in local and global decision-making, which would bring a diversity of perspective and solutions to pressing issues.
Indigenous leader and Chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples' Alliance of the Philippines gives his perspective on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. "The bottom line in advancing the recognition of Indigenous Peoples' rights is fighting for these rights right in our own territories and communities."
Indigenous Human Rights Defenders:
Indigenous solidarity has coalesced into a powerful movement thanks to the activism and perseverance of Indigenous leaders from communities around the world. Indigenous leaders that are defending land, language, culture, and the environment face acute persecution, both from governments directly and from extrajudicial actors. In this in-depth program, Indigenous Rights Radio producer Avexnim Cojti (Maya K'iche') highlights how communities are speaking out against the human rights violations committed against leaders that have dedicated their lives to the causes of their Indigenous communities.
Cordillera Peoples Alliance
Interview with Bestang Dekdeken, Secretary-General of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance, an organization targeted by Duterte’s administration. Dekdeken discusses the work of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and their struggle in the Philippine's Cordillera region to defend their land against the government and mining corporations.
5. Share this message on social media!
Use the hashtags #IPHRDsNotTerrorists (IPHRDs: Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders)
Cultural Survival’s statement in solidarity: https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/cultural-survival-stands-solidarity-indigenous-leaders-wake-unfounded-terrorist-accusations
Cultural Survival's email/ fax to President Duterte and US Ambassador Sung Kim