Survival International

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Survival International is a human rights organisation formed in 1969 that campaigns for the rights of indigenous tribal peoples and uncontacted peoples, seeking to help them to determine their own future. Their campaigns generally focus on tribal peoples' fight to keep their ancestral lands, culture and their own way of living. Survival works for the people who they call "some of the most vulnerable on earth". A part of their mission is to educate people from misconceptions that help justify violations of human rights against indigenous people, and the risks that they face from the advancement of corporations, governments and also good intentions based on an idea of "development" that is forced upon them. Survival believes that in fact their alternative way of living is not lacking, they represent a model of sustainability in the environment that they are a part of and they possess a rich culture from which we could learn.

Survival International is in association with the Department of Public Information (DPI) at the United Nations and in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). To ensure freedom of action, Survival accepts no government funding. It is a founding member and a signatory organization of the INGO Accountability Charter. Survival has offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris and San Francisco.



Survival International was founded in 1969 after an article by Norman Lewis in the UK's Sunday Times highlighted the massacres, land thefts and genocide taking place in Brazilian Amazonia.[1][2]

It was the first in this field to use mass letter-writing, having orchestrated several campaigns in many different places throughout the world, such as Siberia, Canada and Kenya. Several campaigns were able to bring change to government policies regarding the rights of local indigenous people. In 2000, this form of struggle was successful in driving the Indian government to abandon their plan to relocate the isolated Jarawa tribe, after receiving 150-200 letters a day from Survival supporters around the world. Shortly before that, the governor of western Siberia imposed a five year ban on oil drilling in the territory of the Yugan Khanty within weeks of Survival issuing a bulletin.[1] Survival was also the first organisation to draw attention to the destructive effects of World Bank projects – now recognised as a major cause of suffering in many poor countries.[1][3]

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