Background briefings

Survival International condemns Avaaz campaign to “protect half the planet”

Survival's statement against Avaaz's new campaign to protect half the planet, which will cause catastrophic harm to millions of people if enacted.

Keep evangelical missionaries away from uncontacted tribes

President Jair Bolsonaro appointed an evangelical missionary to head the unit for uncontacted tribes in FUNAI, Brazil's federal Indigenous Affairs Department.

Hunters or poachers? Survival, the Baka and WWF

Survival’s recent press release denouncing the brutal persecution of Baka “Pygmies” by anti-poaching squads in Cameroon, and calling on WWF to stop funding them, has elicited a huge public response. WWF has reacted angrily, denouncing Surviva...


Uncontacted tribes are the most vulnerable peoples on earth. A vast array of powerful forces are ranged against them; these are just some of them.


Parojnai’s wife, Ibore, tells how, on 11 June 1998, their family risked everything and made contact.

Before contact

An unknown number of Ayoreo Indians live isolated in the Paraguayan Chaco, the vast scrub forest that extends south of the Amazon basin. Parojnai [pronounced Pow-hai] Picanerai, his wife Ibore and their five children had been on the run for many y...

The outsiders' view

The outsider’s usual view of uncontacted tribal people is a mixture of fear, suspicion and racism. The tribes’ efforts to protect their lives and homes, often stemming from memories of violent persecution in the past, are interpreted by those livi...

Why do they hide?

Many tribal people who are today ‘uncontacted’ are in fact the survivors (or survivors’ descendants) of past atrocities. These acts – massacres, disease epidemics, terrifying violence – are seared into their collective memory, and contact with the...

The most isolated tribe in the world?

In the days after the cataclysmic tsunami of 2004, as the full scale of the destruction and horror wreaked upon the islands of the Indian Ocean became apparent, the fate of the tribal peoples of the Andaman Islands remained a mystery.

Just for fun

In India’s Andaman Islands, during the 1970s and 80s the local administration arranged numerous trips to the isolated Jarawa and Sentinelese tribes with little thought to the devastating consequences these might have.

Making Contact

Although most invasions of uncontacted tribes’ lands are prompted by the desire of loggers, oil companies, cattle ranchers and so forth to take the tribes’ lands and resources, governments sometimes try to make contact for their own reasons.


Dam construction is a menace to tribal peoples across the world. Once-stable river basins become flooded and river beds diverted as governments look for ways to increase electricity output. Local people usually suffer most, being forced off thei...