Despite advances in the past 20 years, indigenous communities continue to highlight serious human rights violations with consequent grave threats to their forests, way of life, and identities as indigenous peoples. The disproportionate effects and discriminatory responses to the global pandemic and climate crisis have only exacerbated the marginalization already faced by indigenous communities. In the midst of these ongoing human rights challenges, indigenous communities and grassroots organizations continue to innovate and meet the needs of their people. Critical to this work is legal empowerment­–a rights-based methodology that centers people in their own fight for justice by empowering people to know, use, and shape the laws that impact their lives. Around the world, indigenous peoples are employing community-based methods to defend their ancestral lands and protect the forest ecosystems upon which not only their cultures but also a stable global climate depends. The goal of these legal empowerment efforts is both to seek justice but also to support indigenous communities to lead efforts to prevent and redress human rights violations.

Drawing upon the expertise of indigenous leaders around the world, this webinar will explore the ways in which legal empowerment and community-based methods are advancing access to justice for indigenous and forest communities.


  • Lucy Claridge, Senior Counsel, Head of Strategic Legal Response Centre, Forest Peoples Programme


  • Daniel Kobei, Ogiek Peoples Development Programme, Ogiek Community, Kenya
  • Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Indigenous Peoples Rights International & Tebtebba Foundation, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Kankana-ey Igorot community, Philippines
  • Patricia Tobón, member of the National Truth Commission, Embera indigenous leader, Colombia

This event is co-sponsored by the Forest Peoples Programme, Indigenous Peoples Rights International, and the Global Justice Clinic at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.

There will be a Spanish interpreter present at the event, so we encourage Spanish-speaking communities to attend. 


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