Reports of the kidnap and abduction of Jarawa women have led to concerns about sexual exploitation of the vulnerable tribe by poachers.

Seven men have been arrested in connection with the alleged abduction and kidnap of vulnerable Jarawa women on India’s Andaman Islands, according to local news reports.

These latest incidents were exposed by members of the Jarawa tribe who reported the eight women missing. It is just the latest in a string of extremely worrying reports of the sexual exploitation of Jarawa women, and the illegal supply of alcohol by poachers invading the Jarawa’s forest.

The Jarawa have only had friendly interaction with their neighbors since 1998 and are highly vulnerable to exploitation, diseases, and dependency on goods such as alcohol brought in by outsiders.

According to the reports, illegal poachers use the Jarawa women to help with hunting and gathering inside the tribe’s reserve.There are strong indications that the women are being lured by alcohol, and that sexual exploitation occurs on a regular basis.

Survival International has called on the Andaman authorities to take firm action against poachers supplying alcohol to the Jarawa, to urgently investigate the reports of sexual exploitation of Jarawa women, and to ensure that those responsible for exploiting and abusing members of the tribe are prosecuted.


Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘This latest disturbing tale follows a spate of recent reports suggesting the regular sexual abuse of Jarawa women by outsiders. These men should never have even been on Jarawa land. There’s a simple solution: the authorities must put an end to poaching and enforce the boundaries of the reserve. It’s the only way to stop Jarawa women being exploited by these predators.’


In a strongly worded speech the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, said this week at the inauguration of the ‘Andaman & Nicobar Tribal Research and Training Institute’ (ANTRI) that attempts to assimilate tribes into the mainstream had failed and were wrong.

The President told the gathering in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands that ‘the overwhelming view today is that assimilation has failed’ as it has led to the complete disappearance of whole peoples. This is felt particularly in the Andamans where Boa Sr, the last of the Bo tribe, died four years ago. The knowledge and language of her people died with her.

Mukherjee called for the Jarawa tribe in the Andaman Islands to be protected ‘in their own ways, in their own environment and in their own circumstances’, adding that he was against disturbing them in any way for ‘so-called development’.

He emphasized the importance of tribal peoples themselves having ‘total involvement’ in the policies that affect them, stating that thrusting our own views on them would be ‘disastrous’.

The President also challenged the derogatory notion that tribal peoples, such as the Jarawa, are living in the past – a view that often leads to them being called backward or primitive. He said ‘they are not living as they did a few centuries ago, they have also changed in their own way’.


These statements echo the message of the Proud not Primitive campaign which calls for mainstreaming policies and language to be abandoned in India and for tribes such as the Jarawa to be able to make their own choices about how they live on their own land.

Survival International – the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights – has launched its first-ever worldwide photography competition to mark its 45th anniversary.

The competition aims to celebrate photography as a powerful medium for raising awareness of tribal peoples, their unique ways of life and the threats to their existence.

The competition is open to both amateur and professional photographers; photographs can be submitted in the following themed categories:

- Lands: images that show the intimate relationship between tribal peoples and their lands;

- Human diversity: portraits of individuals, families, relationship between parents and children, elderly, etc;

- Ways of life: for example hunting and gathering, rituals and ceremonies, life at home, nomadism.

Images have the power to capture intimate moments in tribal peoples' lives, such as this Hadza girl eating honey in Tanzania.

The judging panel will include Survival’s Director Stephen Corry, actor and Survival Ambassador Gillian Anderson, the BBC’s Human Planet photographer Tim Allen, The Little Black Gallery’s Founder Ghislain Pascal, Survival’s Photography consultant Joanna Eede, and Survival Italy Coordinator Francesca Casella.

The twelve winning entries will be published in Survival’s 2015 calendar, and be exhibited at The Little Black Gallery in London and in other countries where Survival has offices. The overall winner will receive an Olympus E-PM2 Black Digital Camera with Black 14-42mm lens (courtesy of Olympus).

The closing date for entries is March 31, 2014.


For full details of competition rules visit: