Rights of indigenous peoples in Peru make a step forward

Oxfam Peru

Read Original Article by Oxfam Peru

Indigenous communities have peacefully protested for months for their lands and livelihoods. It is amazing to know that their voices have finally been heard. Thank you for joining them in their struggle and helping to raise their demands! Your messages reached Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuzcynski from all over the world.

The situation was deeply worrying. The government of Peru was negotiating a new 30-year contract for oil extraction in indigenous lands in an area known as Block 192. But they were not consulting the communities about the conditions of the contract, as is required by law.

Indigenous communities living in the area have suffered the devastating health consequences of oil pollution for more than 45 years, with urgent action needed to clean up more than 2000 polluted sites. In September 2016, indigenous federations, Oxfam and the #LandRightsNow campaign sent out an urgent call to action. And tens of thousands of you from over 130 countries responded!

Your support has helped to force the Peruvian authorities to commit to respecting the right to free, prior, and informed consent over the new oil contract; to organise health services for those affected by oil pollution; and to start a dialogue concerning the Development Plan for communities located along the four rivers adjacent to Block 192.

There is still a long way to go. But this an important victory for social justice for the indigenous communities living in Block 192. We will be keeping watch to ensure that the government fulfils its commitments and consults with indigenous communities in a fair way, cleans up the polluted land and reestablishes the livelihoods of indigenous communities, ensuring their right to a full life.

Prior consultation doesn’t consist of simple procedures, but of fulfilling fundamental human rights and recognising indigenous communities as autonomous and with free determination to define their priorities.

Please share to continue the support! #DerechosIndigenasYa #IndigenousRightsNow

Thank you so much for your support!

Noemí Melgarejo

Campaigner Oxfam in Peru

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