The Politics of Free, Prior and Informed Consent


Indigenous and Tribal peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) has transformative potential. Yet, there is a considerable gap between the theory and what happens in practice. Global actors supporting recognition of FPIC and effective prior consultation processes usually focus on normative standards and best practices. They concentrate much less on addressing the political challenges and opportunities that shape how these processes unfold.

With funding from the Ford Foundation, we looked at the politics of FPIC in Latin America, analyzing how the power and interests of the key players–across governments, companies and indigenous peoples–can determine the fate of FPIC and consultation processes in practice. This research focused on Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, and provides practical options to address key political challenges in hopes of improving outcomes for indigenous and tribal peoples.

In addition, we are partnering with Dejusticia and the multi-stakeholder Dialogue Group for Mining in Colombia (GDIAM) to explore further the political impediments to meaningful mining consultation processes in that country, and to field ideas for navigating these more effectively in the future.

Download full report here:


Download the summary PLUS Politics brief here:


Read also our blog with the interview: "The Politics of Free, Prior and Informed Consent: In conversation with Lina Marcela Tobón Yagarí, Fernando Herrera, Leila Kazemi, and Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye"