Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Andaman Island tours 'flout Indian law'

'Human safaris' threaten the future of the Jarawa tribe in the Andaman Islands.

Andaman Island tours 'flout Indian law'
Jarawa girls in clothes given to them by outsiders Photo: © Survival International

A campaign group has given warning that tours to see the Jarawa people in the Andaman Islands are threatening the survival of the indigenous tribe, which has inhabited parts of the islands for thousands of years.

Survival International, which campaigns on behalf of tribal groups throughout the world, claims that at least eight local travel companies are continuing to offer what it describes as "human safaris".

Trips to see the Jarawa are banned under Indian law because of the risk of spreading disease among the tribe, whose 300 remaining members have little immunity to common illnesses.

There are regulations in place that prevent outsiders from interacting with or taking photographs of the Jarawa. However, Survival International claims that local operators are flouting these rules. Some package trips are advertised as "geological tours", but feature excursions to the Jarawa reserve in their itineraries.