Discussion posted by: David McNamara
When Victoria Tauli-Corpuz stepped off the plane in Geneva in February, it was supposed to be her first stop in a multi-country mission in her role as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples. Instead, new – and quickly changing – quarantine rules meant it was her last stop. The rest of the trip was cancelled. Instead, Tauli-Corpuz flew home to the Philippines to concentrate on Covid-19. The impacts of the novel coronavirus on indigenous peoples, she had realised, “could wipe us off the map”. Indigenous peoples around the globe tend to be at higher risk from emerging infectious diseases compared to other populations. During the H1N1 pandemic in Canada in 2009, for example, aboriginal Canadians made up 16% of admissions to hospital, despite making up 3.4% of the population.