Defending Indigenous Territories & Rights in Peru

Indigenous Peoples are defending their territories, rights and livelihoods in one of the planet’s largest remaining rainforests against dispossession and destructive developments. The Peoples’ Legal School supports their struggles for life by strengthening the next generation of legal defenders.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 12:00 PM, 22 April 2022 to 12:00 PM, 29 April 2022

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1082158)

Check mark Match funded

Campaign target


Amount raised




Championed by The Climate Change Collaboration of the Ashden Trust, Mark Leonard Trust and JJ Charitable Trust


  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation
  • Human Rights/AdvocacyHuman Rights/Advocacy


  • Minority GroupsMinority Groups
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther




Indigenous Peoples’ rights, forests and waters are under threat from illegal logging and mining, industrial agriculture, fossil fuels extraction, road-building and narcotics production. Social inequalities and their marginalisation limit their access to quality legal defence to confront these threats and enforce their collective rights; too often, the powerful use Peru's judicial system against communities to cement the dispossession of their lands and criminalise and repress land defenders.


In 2021, the Instituto de Defensa Legal and Forest Peoples Programme established the Peoples' Legal School, to strengthen the defence of Indigenous Peoples' collective and territorial rights across Peru. By providing law students from across the Andean-Amazon region with training, exchanges and opportunities to work directly in solidarity with frontline Indigenous organisations, the School is forming a skilled and active network of a new generation of Indigenous rights and land defenders.

  • This immersion helped me a lot to update and understand key aspects in the promotion and defence of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, and to be at the forefront of all this in order to strengthen and vindicate our struggle. Spaces like the Peoples' Legal School are necessary and critical for this reason.

    — Marco Sangama, Universidad Alas Peruanas & the Ethnic Council of the Kichwa Peoples of the Amazon

  • Being part of the Peoples' Legal School meant a before and after in my training to defend Indigenous Peoples, because we had first-class teachers who gave us more tools to defend Indigenous territories and learnt from colleagues who shared with us their real cases in the defence of territories.

    — Diana Torres Huaman, Asociación Juventia, Cusco

  • The experience at the Peoples’ Legal School has been enriching. I have learned about important issues for Indigenous Peoples’ struggles for their rights. The teachers have shared with us their experiences and their strategies to have a positive impact.

    — Waldir Flores Navarro, National University of San Martín & Ethnic Council of Kichwa Peoples (CEPKA)