More than one hundred and fifty million people in over sixty countries live in Indigenous and tribal societies. They’re mostly self-sufficient and depend on their land for their health and wellbeing. To Indigenous and tribal peoples, land is life.
We exist to prevent the annihilation of Indigenous peoples and secure their land rights. We work with tribes around the world, and our uncompromising campaigns are rooted in these deep and enduring relationships. We offer them a platform to speak to the world, so that they can denounce the genocidal violence and racism they face on a daily basis. Through our lobbying, advocacy and public campaigns targeting powerful interests, we help defend the lives, lands and futures of people whose rights must be recognized.
A world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected.
The world needs Indigenous peoples. We need your support to bring about a radical change in public opinion to make sure tribal and Indigenous peoples have a future. Help us fight one of the most urgent and horrific humanitarian crises of our time. Tribal peoples need you. Let’s fight for their survival, together.
We were founded in 1969 by a group of people appalled by the genocide of Amazonian Indigenous peoples detailed in a Sunday Times exposé.
For several years, we had little or no income and were run by volunteers. We published information about tribal peoples’ problems, supported projects in their communities, and lobbied for their rights in international forums like the UN.
But quickly it became apparent that the only way to ensure the continued survival of tribal peoples was also to catalyse a groundswell of public opinion in their favour.
That’s ultimately how all progressive movements foster lasting change, from stopping the slave trade two centuries ago, to destroying South African apartheid.
From our humble beginnings, our thousands of supporters around the world elevated our struggle to a global movement, with hundreds of concrete successes in the field.
The movement has radically altered the outlook for tribal peoples in many parts of the world.
Survival International works as a unified organization, operating in seven languages across six country offices which all have charitable/nonprofit status.
The international secretariat is based in London and its board of trustees govern the entire movement. Regional offices are managed by their own boards.
Our board members bring expertise in many different fields to Survival’s work, from Indigenous rights to journalism, via accountancy and the law, to name but a few.
In order to preserve our integrity and independence, we refuse all money from national governments, the principal violators of tribal peoples’ rights. We also do not accept donations from any company that abuses tribal peoples’ rights or is likely to do so.
Very unusually for an international NGO, Survival is funded almost entirely by the general public. Our merchandise and a few trusts and foundations also contribute to our work. That’s what guarantees our powerful and independent voice. Some Indigenous organizations also donate to our work.
Many of our staff remain anonymous for their own safety. This also makes it harder for governments to block our access to tribal peoples.
Staff includes regional experts with direct experience of, and contacts in, hundreds of tribal communities and organizations. Our director is Caroline Pearce.
We don’t have offices where tribal peoples live. This means we are never pressed to change our work in order to protect our staff from threats they might receive.
We work in partnership with Indigenous and tribal peoples to amplify their voices on the global stage and change the world in their favor.
Independence: We reject money from governments so our integrity is never compromised.
Alliance: Our work is rooted in our longstanding relationships with hundreds of Indigenous communities around the world.
Investigations: We investigate, expose and confront atrocities committed by governments and big business
Advocacy: We have more than 50 years of expertise in international lobbying and campaigning that gets results
Tribal peoples are our contemporaries. They’re not primitive. They have technology, laws, education, religions, and social, political and economic structures. They developed many of the medicines now used by industrialized societies, and created some of the principal staple foods like maize and potatoes that now feed millions. Tribal peoples shaped the environment and help make the world a better place.
Tribal societies are extraordinarily diverse and there’s a lot to learn from them. They understand the natural world and are expert conservationists.
The world needs tribal peoples. Our work is preventing their annihilation. We work in partnership with Indigenous and tribal peoples and give them a platform to speak to the world.
We depend on you to fund the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights. Unlike many charities, we refuse national government funding and do not take money from corporations that could be violating tribal peoples’ rights. Why?
Because relying on your generosity gives us complete independence. It preserves our integrity, ensuring we never adjust our message or work to suit donors.
Survival is politically and financially independent of all government, political, religious or corporate involvement.
Where our money comes from
The vast majority of Survival’s funding comes from small, individual donors in over 100 countries.
A: Supporter donations & foundations (74.5%)
B: Fundraising & sales from our shop (15.5%)
C: Legacies (6.5%)
D: Investments (3.5%)
We’re fighting to stop human rights abuses committed in the name of conservation, and to put indigenous peoples in control of wildlife protection.
There are more than one hundred uncontacted tribes around the world. Their survival is under threat from violence, disease and racism. Read and take action today.
Lands and Lives
Tribal peoples’ lands and resources are stolen for profit, even though land theft is a crime under international law.
Unheard voices, unique perspectives. Indigenous people speak out about what matters to them.
Join the mailing list
More than one hundred and fifty million men, women and children in over sixty countries live in tribal societies. Find out more about them and the struggles they’re facing: sign up to our mailing list for occasional updates.