Help defend indigenous peoples’ rights in Brazil and protect the rainforest
8 December 2016
Although there are so many things to think about and do this Advent, it is important we find time to remember those around the world who continue to risk their lives to protect the environment.
We have been supporting indigenous partners in Brazil for over 30 years, empowering communities to claim their rights to land, education, and health – and to be able to continue living in their ancestral territories.
Choose your World Gifts
£10 - This gift can pay for kits, footballs and training that bring disadvantaged children together.Buy Now
£20 could pay for lessons and instruments giving vulnerable children a chance to boost their self-esteem.Buy Now
Teach someone to read
£10 can pay for life-changing literacy classes for children.Buy Now
Indigenous peoples in danger
Many indigenous people oppose the exploitation and plundering of natural resources in their territories, and they act as guardians of the lungs of our planet – the Amazon rainforest.
But in defending the rainforest and their rights, Brazil’s indigenous people face many risks.
“Indigenous peoples are being murdered, criminalised, threatened, evicted from their land, and their rights to health and education are systematically violated” said Esther Gillingham, CAFOD’s Brazil Programme Officer.
“In the Tefé Region of Brazil, the indigenous communities we are supporting are still waiting for their territory to be recognised by the Brazilian State. This puts them at greater risk from outsiders who want to enter their lands to exploit the natural resources” explains Esther.
Indigenous people defend their rights
Ahead of Human Rights Day on 10 December, our indigenous partners in Brazil have come together to call for their rights to be respected and for the government to recognise their ancestral land rights.
In a statement, our indigenous partners from the Tefé Region said: “We are still victims of discrimination, prejudice and explicit or veiled intentions to wipe out our peoples.
“The Government bows to the pressure of economic and political interests that have always ruled in this country, leading to a serious crisis in public policies aimed at solving our needs and addressing violence against indigenous peoples.
“Our territories are being systematically exploited. There is a great interest in the natural resources we preserve, especially our forests, lakes and rivers.”
Through our local partner organisations, Caritas Brazil and CIMI, we are supporting indigenous people in the Tefé Region - in the upper section of the Brazilian Amazon - with a human rights programme, co-financed by the European Union.
The programme works with indigenous leaders to build their skills to defend their rights. These rights are currently enshrined by Brazil’s constitution and international agreements, but these constitutional protections are threatened by proposals currently being considered by the Brazilian Government to amend the constitution, as well as by economic interests in their territories.
With your help, we can support our partners’ training, lobbying and advocacy work, which is helping to build a strong, united, and politically engaged indigenous movement in Brazil.
Getting your community involved
To support CAFOD’s wider programme work with indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon, take a look at our Save the Rainforest World Gifts.
By joining together to fundraise with your church or school you can help raise the funds needed for this vital work.