Back in early April, a 15-year-old young man named Alvaney Xirixana became the first Yanomami to die from COVID-19, likely due to contact with illegal workers in the area. The episode has raised major concerns over a potential health disaster among the Yanomami tribe. To date, four Yanomami people have died from COVID-19 and dozens more are infected.
The Yanomami leaders launched the #MinersOutCovidOut campaign on June 2 to demand the immediate expulsion of the miners from their territory, which has been the target of illegal gold mining since the 1980s, when the construction of roads and gold rushes caused the death of 13% of the Yanomami population from diseases against which the tribe had little or no immunity.
In support of the Hutukara Yanomami Association, we call on the government of Brazil to promptly investigate the incident, protect the indigenous peoples from threats, and remove all illegal miners from their land.
Right Livelihood Laureates at the forefront of the fight against sexual violence in conflict
As we marked the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on June 19, we celebrated the Laureates whose work has been focusing on supporting survivors. They have engaged in making a difference for those affected by wartime sexual violence, with the aim of achieving systematic change.
Conflict-related sexual violence has long-lasting consequences on the lives of the survivors, while also destabilising communities and societies. In many cases, such violations are still never reported, investigated or prosecuted. This is why we must stand by victims, survivors and human rights defenders around the world who have dedicated their lives to rooting out these crimes.
Four outstanding Laureates have been particularly at the forefront of the fight against sexual violence in conflict:
Video messages from Sima Samar, Kvinna till Kvinna and the Mukwege Foundation on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
COVID-19 & Human Rights
Local challenges facing the Right Livelihood Laureates
Around the world, governments have had to take extraordinary measures to tackle COVID-19. Drawing on the experiences of the Laureates, we are running an ongoing interview series to explore the short and long-term effects that these emergency measures have on human rights in their respective countries, and reflect on the role of the international community in safeguarding human rights and preventing abuses.