Our History


First Arrival

The first inhabitants arrived in Chagos as enslaved Africans. 



After emancipation, indentured Indians also arrived. A new, unique society and inter-island culture developed called Ilois.


Creation of British Indian Ocean Territory

Unknown to Chagossians, as part of a deal to grant Mauritian independence, the Chagos Islands were split off from the former colony and the British Government created The British Indian Ocean Territory. 


U.S. & U.K secret deal

Concealed from Chagossians, the U.K. secretly agrees to remove our community for $ 14 million, hidden from Congress & Parliament & grant U.S a 50 year lease for the islands.  


Eviction begins

Over a campaign lasting 3 years, Chagossians were forcibly expelled by the British Government, first to Peros Banhos, and then to Mauritius & Seychelles. 


Last Chagossian are deported

The last Chagossians were deported and the U.S Navy establish a military base on the islands. 


Hunger Strikes

Out of desperation & living in abject poverty, Chagossians hold hunger strikes & protests. U.K. agrees to £4 million compensation. This begins a community movement.


Chagos Refugees Group is established

Charlesia Alexis, Lisette Talate, Rita Élysée Bancoult & her son Olivier Bancoult establish the Chagos Refugee Group (CRG).


Rights to U.K. passports

After Chagossians sue for right of return, U.K. High Court rules expulsion was illegal.


Recognized as Indigenous Community

U.K. Government issues Queen’s ‘Orders in Council’ decreeing Chagossians barred from returning, effectively overturning 2000 victory.


Rights to UK Passports

After two more High Court rulings find the exile unlawful, U.K.’s highest court overturns

Chagossians’ lower court, upholding the exile and colonial law.


United Nations Ruling

U.K. creates Chagos Marine Protected Area (MPA) with exemption for Diego Garcia base. Wikileaks cable shows U.K., U.S. officials agreed MPA was best way to prevent Chagossians  return. 


Feasibility Study

U.K. releases study confirming the feasibility of Chagossians resettling Chagos. UN Permanent Court of Arbitration rules U.K. acted illegally in creating an MPA.


Mauritius & ICJ

British Supreme Court urges U.K. Government to decide if Chagossians can return. Yet again the Government refuse to let us return. 



United Nations Ruling

The United Nations’ highest court ruled that Britain illegally took sovereignty from Mauritius when ending colonial rule and must “bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible”.


U.N. deadline to return Chagos to Mauritius

A six-month UN deadline to return control of the Chagos Islands back to Mauritius passed and  the UK still refused to recognize Mauritius’s claim of sovereignty over the islands.


We fight on for Right of Return

Help us continue our fight for right of return.