Indigenous peoples human rights defenders field handbook on human rights documentation and advocacy

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This Handbook provides comprehensive step-by-step instructions on how to document human rights violations, particularly indigenous peoples’ collective rights, and use the data gathered for advocacy.

The concern for documentation or conducting fact-finding activities related to human rights violations has intensified due to the increasing cases of human rights violations and aggression committed against indigenous peoples, individually and/or as a community. These violations range from the violations of individual rights and collective rights, such as harassment/ intimidation to extrajudicial killings, from vilification of individuals to forced relocation of communities. Seeking redress to these violations to entails the presentation of complete, credible, reliable, accurate and verifiable data on the human rights violations. These data will facilitate greater awareness, attention and actions to resolve the case and improve the situation of victims and hold duty-bearers accountable.

Documentation is only a part of the task of human rights monitoring, a task that takes place through time. The main elements of human rights monitoring are: the gathering/collection of information/data (documentation), the verification and analysis of the gathered data, and then using the information (advocacy).

This Handbook focuses on documenting violations of the collective rights of indigenous peoples and its linkage to individual rights. It discusses what to document in these aspects, and how to analyse these violations in a more comprehensive manner. It also offers techniques and strategies on documenting cases and shares experiences in the community and where violations take place. Key insights and strategies on how to advance advocacy on indigenous peoples’ human rights recognition, protection and fulfilment are also integrated in the manual.

Another Training Manual on Advocacy and Lobby on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples produced by AIPP provides a more comprehensive guide for IPHRDs on advocacy. As a companion tool to this Handbook, IPHRDs are encouraged to use this Training Manual.

Click here to download the publication.

Click here to download the unofficial translation of the Handbook in Thai.