2012-2013: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Stateless Personss
Webster University’s“Year of International Human Rights” began in honor of the 60th
anniversary of theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights in 2008. Since then, the YIHR has expanded to include a wide range of programming that includes guest lectures, film series, art performances and exhibits, common reading programs, and more.
The 2012/13 Year of International Human Rights (YIHR) focuses on the rights of indigenous peoples and stateless persons. These groups often suffer from lack of political and social recognition, and their human rights are regularly threatened despite the existence of international legal protections. For instance, many indigenous groups struggle to maintain their cultural traditions and self-determination even after the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Approximately 12 million people are stateless – they are not citizens to any country – despite the human “right to a nationality” that is outlined in international law. In fact, statelessness has been described as a “forgotten human rights crisis” that leads to exploitation and additional rights violations. While some indigenous people are also stateless, these are two distinct groups that both face severe threats to their human rights and dignity. The 2012/13 YIHR is therefore committed to drawing attention toward these neglected issues and supporting the rights of indigenous peoples and stateless persons.
Members of the Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies with Monte Reel (back row).
Monte Reel presenting slide. "Rodonia: A land without men for man without land".
Monte Reel, author of The Last of the Tribe: The Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon, came to speak on September 10, 2012 at Webster University. His talk was followed by a book signing and reception. The following day, Mr. Reel attended classrooms and met with students for coffee and cookies in the MCISA student lounge.
Year of International Human Rights Common Reading: The Last of the Tribe: The Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon, by Monte Reel.
Throughout the centuries, the Amazon has yielded many of its secrets,
but it still holds a few great mysteries. In 1996 experts got their first glimpse of one: a lone Indian, a tribe of one, hidden in the forests of southwestern Brazil. Previously uncontacted tribes are extremely rare, but a one-man tribe was unprecedented. And like all of the isolated tribes in the Amazonian frontier, he was in danger.
Resentment of Indians can run high among settlers, and the consequences can be fatal. The discovery of the Indian prevented local ranchers from seizing his land, and led a small group of men who believed that he was the last of a murdered tribe to dedicate themselves to protecting him. These men worked for the government, overseeing indigenous interests in an odd job that was part Indiana Jones, part social worker, and were among the most experienced adventurers in the Amazon. They were a motley crew that included a rebel who spent more than a decade living with a tribe, a young man who left home to work in the forest at age fourteen, and an old-school sertanista with a collection of tall tales amassed over five decades of jungle exploration.
Their quest would prove far more difficult than any of them could imagine. Over the course of a decade, the struggle to save the Indian and his land would pit them against businessmen, politicians, and even the Indian himself, a man resolved to keep the outside world at bay at any cost. It would take them into the furthest reaches of the forest and to the halls of Brazil’s Congress, threatening their jobs and even their lives. Ensuring the future of the Indian and his land would lead straight to the heart of the conflict over the Amazon itself.
A heart-pounding modern-day adventure set in one of the world’s last truly wild places, The Last of the Tribe is a riveting, brilliantly told tale of encountering the unknown and the unfathomable, and the value of preserving it.- Taken from amazon.com