Attacks against the lives and rights of indigenous peoples have increased significantly over the past decade, constituting a human rights emergency. Following several complaints lodged to the United Nations against the violation of indigenous peoples’ rights in the Amazon and as an extension of the Faiths for Forests Declaration and Action Agenda, the World Council of Religions for Peace issued a statement communicating their moral support to indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin.
Through the Declaration, they urge all Amazonian countries to prevent ongoing threats to indigenous peoples as well as regressive legislation that undermines their rights. More specifically, they urgently appeal to the following:
- That effective policies be adopted and/or strengthened to protect the lives and human rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon.
- That the titling and creation of indigenous peoples territories be guaranteed with the due participation of representative indigenous organizations and with respect for Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as enshrined in the ILO 169 Convention and further elaborated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
- That the ratification and implementation of the Escazú Agreement be prioritised, in order to guarantee a safe and enabling environment in which people, groups and organizations that promote and defend human rights and forest protection can act without threats, restrictions and insecurity.
- That the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples be recognized, valued and incorporated in strategies to combat climate change and deforestation.
Through this Declaration, religious leaders representing the world’s major faith traditions and hundreds of millions of people across the planet offer a strong support to all individuals and organizations working for the protection of indigenous peoples rights and the tropical rainforests in the Amazon Basin.