Biographical Information


Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is an indigenous leader from the Kankanaey Igorot people of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. Is a social development consultant, indigenous activist, civic leader, human rights expert, public servant, and an advocate of women's rights in the Philippines.

She was the former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2005-2010). As an indigenous leader she got actively engaged in drafting and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. She helped build the indigenous peoples' movement in the Cordillera as a youth activist in the early 1970s. She helped organize indigenous peoples in the community level to fight against the projects of the Marcos Dictatorship such as the Chico River Hydroelectric Dam and the Cellophil Resources Corporation. These communities succeeded in stopping these.

She is the founder and executive director of Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples' International Center for Policy Research and Education). Ms. Tauli-Corpuz has founded and managed various NGOs involved in social awareness raising, climate change, the advancement of indigenous peoples' and women's rights. A member of the Kankana-ey Igorat peoples, she was the chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She is an Expert for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and has served as the chairperson-rapporteur of the Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations. She is also the indigenous and gender adviser of the Third World Network and a member of United Nations Development Programme Civil Society Organizations Advisory Committee.

"I decided to apply for this Special Procedure for several reasons. First, there is still a long way to go before indigenous peoples' rights are effectively respected, protected and fulfilled. I can see the important role the SRIPR can play in helping States to implement more effectively their role as duty bearers of human rights. In this era, when many of the world's remaining natural resources are largely found in indigenous peoples' territories, there are increasing violations of their basic rights to lands, territories and resources and to self-determination and participation. This need not be the case. I think the SR can help governments understand better how the development visions and aspirations of indigenous peoples are consistent with sustainable development objectives and principles. Achieving sustainable development cannot be delinked from the need to respect and protect the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples"



Indigenous peoples across the world experience the consequences of historical colonization and invasion of their territories, and face discrimination because of their distinct cultures, identities and ways of life. In recent decades, the international community has given special attention to the human rights situations of indigenous peoples, as shown by the adoption of international standards and guidelines, as well as by the establishment of institutions and bodies that specifically target these peoplesí concerns. The rights of indigenous peoples are further promoted by international and regional human rights mechanisms. Indigenous Peoples.

In this context, the Commission on Human Rights decided to appoint in 2001 a Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, as part of the system of thematic Special Procedures. The Special Rapporteurís mandate was renewed by the Commission on Human Rights in 2004, and by the Human Rights Council in 2007. (Mandate).

In the fulfillment of her mandate, the Special Rapporteur:

  1. Promotes good practices, including new laws, government programs, and constructive agreements between indigenous peoples and states, to implement international standards concerning the rights of indigenous peoples (Promotion of good practices);
  2. Reports on the overall human rights situations of indigenous peoples in selected countries Country reports;
  3. Addresses specific cases of alleged violations of the rights of indigenous peoples through communications with Governments and others (Communications);
  4. Conducts or contributes to thematic studies on topics of special importance regarding the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples (Thematic studies).;

The Special Rapporteur undertakes efforts to follow-up on the recommendations included in her predecessorís reports in relation to the foregoing areas of work.

Additionally, she reports annually on her activities to the Human Rights Council (Annual reports).