Stanford conference to explore indigenous rights in Latin America

The indigenous population in Latin America ranks among the highest in underdevelopment in the world, experiencing high levels of illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, disease, discrimination, violence and expropriation of their lands. In an effort to examine the common trends, actors, and challenges affecting this vulnerable community, the Program on Human Rights (PHR) at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) together with the Center for Latin American Studies is hosting a one-day conference on Tuesday, May 8 2012 at Stanford University to shed light on the important human rights issues indigenous populations face.

Alejandro Toledo, the former president of Peru and its first president of indigenous descent will deliver the opening address. Toledo was a visiting scholar at CDDRL from 2007-2009. The conference will bring together a diverse group of scholars to present research papers on a range of topics relating to indigenous communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, including: violence and security, education, the effect of climate change, health challenges, cultural survival, national and international property rights and political movements.

According to Helen Stacy, the director of the Program on Human Rights, “The goal of the conference is to create an integrated network of professionals that includes Stanford University students, faculty and researchers, who will advance and support continuous research on human rights issues affecting indigenous people in Latin America.”

The lunchtime keynote address will be delivered by the former first lady of Peru, Eliane Karp-Toledo, an anthropologist and economist who specializes in Andean indigenous cultures. Conference speakers include: Alexia Romero, a second year JD candidate at Stanford University, who will address the issue of indigenous property rights; Oliver Kaplan, a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University, who will explore civil war violence in Columbia; Paul Kim, assistant dean and chief technology officer for Stanford’s School of Education, who will speak about the impact of mobile phone technology for indigenous people in Latin America; and Claire Mantini-Briggs, visiting lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Department of Anthropology, who will discuss inequalities in epidemiology and human rights.

The Center on Latin American Studies and the Program on Human Rights view this conference as the beginning of an ongoing research initiative to examine the state of indigenous rights. 

The sessions begin at 9:00 am and will be held in the Bechtel Conference Center. They are free and open to the public. To view the complete program and RSVP to the conference, please click here.