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16th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues(24 April – 5 May 2017)

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10th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples(19 – 23 June 2017)

 

Please note that the deadline to submit applications to attend the 16th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the 10th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is: 30 November 2016.

The application forms for these meetings are available on the following web link: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/IPeoplesFund/Pages/ApplicationsForms.aspx

For any other additional information, you can consult the Voluntary Fund’s website: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/IPeoplesFund/Pages/IPeoplesFundIndex.aspx

Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

 

UN Women welcomes the many voices amplifying United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recent strong comment that “It’s high time now” for his successor to be a woman, after 70 years of male leadership.

Not since the birth of the United Nations (UN) has global public interest and engagement been so high in who will be the ninth Secretary-General. This is the first such election since UN Women was formed and the first within the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. There is an appetite as never before to make this moment count for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

All over the world, in petitions, letters, debates, and all forms of media, individuals and citizen groups are calling for the UN to select a woman with a demonstrated commitment to gender equality, peace, development, justice and human rights to lead the United Nations. These include the staff of the UN, who serve with dedication and commitment in often-difficult and dangerous situations.

The Security Council and General Assembly have 10 strong candidates from whom to select, with an equal number of women and men. The candidates’ deep experience, varied skills and gender balance make this the strongest pool ever fielded for selection. Never before have there been so many superbly qualified women in the running for this position.

The opportunity is here to appoint a leader who will open a new chapter in the fight for women’s rights, right from the top.

Source: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2016/8/ed-statement-on-a-woman-as-sg

The present report is submitted to the General Assembly by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples pursuant to her mandate under Council resolutions 15/14 and 24/9. In the report, the Special Rapporteur provides a brief summary of her activities since her previous report to the Assembly, as well as a thematic analysis of conservation measures and their impact on indigenous peoples’ rights.

 

Protected areas have the potential of safeguarding the biodiversity for the benefit of all humanity; however, these have also been associated with human rights violations against indigenous peoples in many parts of the world. The complex violations that have been faced by indigenous peoples in the wake of evermore expanding protected areas have been raised by respective special rapporteurs during numerous country visits and communications to governments.

 

The present report charts legal developments and commitments and measures taken made to advance a human rights-based paradigm in conservation, while also identifying key remaining challenges. The report concludes with recommendations on how conservation, in policy and practice, can be developed in a manner which respects indigenous peoples’ rights and enhances sustainable conservation.

 

You can download the report here.

Message by the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples to mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Tuesday 9 August 2016.

 

The 2016 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples offers an opportunity for the international community to reflect on the overall human rights situation of indigenous peoples, as the world prepares to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

 

This year’s theme, Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Education, enshrined in Article 14 of the Declaration and several other international instruments, is timely as States begin to take measures to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a view to leaving no one behind. 

 

“Education is empowerment, and critical to the realization of all of the rights contained in the Declaration and international human rights treaties,” stresses Claire Charters, Chair of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples. "Unfortunately, indigenous children and youth often do not have access to adequate, accessible and appropriate forms of education. It is imperative that States, indigenous peoples, the United Nations and other stakeholders work together in order to increase awareness and efforts to ensure the fulfilment of this universal and fundamental human right".

 

This means working together to address the damaging history of colonization,  marginalization and discrimination experienced by indigenous peoples. According to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, “the available data shows a consistent pattern of disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in terms of educational access, retention and achievement in all regions of the world.  Additionally, the loss of indigenous knowledge especially in terms of ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation and sustainable use leads to the erosion of cultural and biological diversity. Support for the establishment of intercultural indigenous schools and universities should be provided. The situation of indigenous women and girls is of concern and special priority must be given to ensure women and girls have access to relevant education.”

 

“States must engage and work constructively with indigenous peoples to address barriers to education, including stigmatization of indigenous identity, discrimination in schools, language barriers between students and teachers and inadequate consideration given to education for indigenous students,” the Chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Alvaro Pop Ac underlines. “Efforts should be made to ensure that indigenous peoples have access to education that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.”

 

As Albert K.  Barume, the Chair of EMRIP, notes “Education is key to addressing human rights violations, alleviating poverty and creating opportunities in economic, social and cultural spheres. The right to education also supports the commitments on the part of States to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically Goal 4 on inclusive and quality education for all.” In fact, EMRIP devoted its first study to indigenous peoples’ right to education, with a firm conviction that education is an indispensable means of realizing indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and their capacity and ability to pursue their own economic, social and cultural development.

 

States should work with indigenous peoples in a spirit of partnership to restore forms of education based on indigenous languages, beliefs, values and culture and increase efforts to address discrimination in education that has the effect of impeding indigenous peoples’ rights to education. It is imperative that educational institutions are built on a human rights framework that is inclusive and respectful of indigenous peoples’ cultures, worldviews and languages.

 

Jointly, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) and the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples call upon States to ensure discrimination-free and culturally-sensitive education systems for indigenous peoples, taking into account their languages, cultures and histories. States and indigenous peoples must also work together to fulfil indigenous peoples’ right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions.

 

For more information:

•  International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2016

•  Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

•  Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

•  United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

•  United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples

See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20342&LangID=E#sthash.4xr98HMV.dpuf

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples - Tuesday 9 August 2016

GENEVA (5 August 2016) –  Nearly ten years since the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, indigenous children and youth still lack full access to adequate, accessible and appropriate forms of education, warned a group of four UN experts on indigenous issues in a joint statement* made public today.

Speaking ahead of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, on Tuesday 9 August, the experts called on governments to ensure discrimination-free and culturally-sensitive education systems for indigenous peoples, taking into account their languages and histories.

“States and indigenous peoples must work together to fulfil indigenous peoples’ right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions,” said Claire Charters, Chair of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Alvaro Pop Ac,  Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and Albert K.  Barume, Chair of UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“Education is empowerment, and critical to the realization of all of the rights contained in the Declaration and international human rights treaties,” Ms. Charters stressed. “Unfortunately, indigenous children and youth often do not have access to adequate, accessible and appropriate forms of education.”

Special Rapporteur Tauli-Corpuz drew attention to the situation of indigenous women and girls, and called on Governments to give special priority to ensure they have access to relevant education. She also cautioned that “the available data shows a consistent pattern of disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in terms of educational access, retention and achievement in all regions of the world.”

“States must engage and work constructively with indigenous peoples to address barriers to education, including stigmatization of indigenous identity, discrimination in schools, language barriers between students and teachers and inadequate consideration given to education for indigenous students,” Mr. Pop Ac underscored. “Efforts should be made to ensure that indigenous peoples have access to education that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.”

Mr. Barume noted that education is key to addressing human rights violations, alleviating poverty and creating opportunities in economic, social and cultural spheres.

“Education is an indispensable means of realizing indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and their capacity and ability to pursue their own economic, social and cultural development,” he said. “The right to education also supports the commitments on the part of States to the Sustainable Development Goals with a view to leaving no one behind.”

The human rights experts urged governments “to work with indigenous peoples in a spirit of partnership to restore forms of education based on indigenous languages, beliefs, values and culture and increase efforts to address discrimination in education that has the effect of impeding indigenous peoples’ rights to education.”

“It is imperative that educational institutions are built on a human rights framework that is inclusive and respectful of indigenous peoples’ cultures, worldviews and languages,” they concluded.

(*) Check the experts’ full statement: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20342&LangID=E

The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz(Philippines), is a human rights activist working on indigenous peoples’ rights. She is a member of the Kankana-ey, Igorot indigenous peoples in the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. As a Special Rapporteur, she is independent from any government or organization and serves in their individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/SRIndigenousPeoples/Pages/SRIPeoplesIndex.aspx

The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was established in 2007 by the Human Rights Council as a subsidiary body of the Council.  It is composed of five independent experts serving in their personal capacities: Mr. Albert K. Barume (Democratic Republic of Congo), Mr. Wilton Littlechild (Canada), Mr. Edtami Mansayagan (Philippines), Mr. Alexey Tsykarev (Russian Federation), and Ms. Erika Yamada (Brazil). Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/EMRIP/Pages/EMRIPIndex.aspx
The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is a high- level advisory body to the Economic and Social Council. It was established in 2000 to deal with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. It is composed of 16 members. Learn more, log on to: http://www.un.org/indigenous/

The UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples was established in 1985 by the UN General Assembly and provides support to indigenous peoples’ representatives to participate in the sessions of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Human Rights Council and of treaty bodies. It is run by the Secretary-General and a Board of Trustees. The members of the Board are: Ms. Claire Charters (New Zealand), Ms. Myrna Cunningham (Nicaragua), Mr. Binota Dhamai (Bangladesh), Ms. Anne Nuorgam (Finland), and Mr. Legborsi Saro Pyagbara (Nigeria). Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/IPeoplesFund/Pages/IPeoplesFundIndex.aspx

See the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/Pages/Declaration.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact Juan Fernando Núñez (+41 22 928 9458 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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Source: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20346&LangID=E

 

UN Women proudly joins indigenous peoples around the world in celebrating the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous women have struggled for full recognition of their rights and we stand beside them in that struggle. Despite the continued threats to their security, ancestral lands and the environment upon which they depend, indigenous women strive to balance their roles as leaders, producers and transmitters of indigenous knowledge and cultures.

This year’s theme, Indigenous Peoples and the Right to Education, is timely and aligns with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s commitment to educational attainment among indigenous women and girls. Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5 present opportunities to give stronger meaning and commitment to educational attainment among indigenous women and girls. Gender equality will only be achieved when we ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training, including for indigenous peoples. 

Systemic barriers to educational attainment must be eliminated. These include the expectation that girls should marry and have children before reaching adulthood, the preference for boys in the choice over who should attend school, the risk of physical and sexual violence, and discriminatory policies and teaching practices that prevent girls from upholding their unique cultures in school.

Formal, non-formal and informal educationare potent means to enhance the ability of indigenous women to reach their full potential. Knowledge of the rich histories, cultures, languages and farming practices of indigenous peoples are critical life skills that uphold and nurture their unique identity. Formal education must also be promoted to ensure that indigenous girls and women are able to effectively participate in all domains of social, economic and political activity. High levels of illiteracy among indigenous women, however, regrettably attest to the historical patterns of discrimination and exclusion.

Today’s celebration is an opportunity to implement the recommendations of the 2009 report of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to the Human Rights Council on Lessons Learned and Challenges to Achieve the Implementation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Education. UN Women believes that integrating indigenous peoples’ perspectives into educational curricula, improving infrastructure particularly in remote villages, introducing mobile schools for nomadic communities, and scaling up bilingual education and special scholarship schemes for girls will positively impact upon their ability to enroll in and complete a full course of education to the highest levels.

UN Women’s joint programme with UNESCO and UNFPA builds on cross-sectoral approaches and addresses the interface between education, health and gender equality in order to empower adolescent girls and young women. We look forward to making these initiatives meaningful to indigenous women and girls by working with them at each stage of their design, implementation and monitoring so that their voices will be heard, and no one will be left behind. 

Source: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2016/8/ed-statement-on-international-day-of-indigenous-peoples

IPMG Intervention on HLPF/Session 3: Ensuring that no one is left behind--lifting people out of poverty and addressing basic needs

Grace Balawag, Tebtebba –Indigenous Peoples International Centre for Policy Research and Education, July 11, 2016

Thanks for this opportunity to intervene on behalf of the IPMG.

For Indigenous Peoples, this session on lifting people out of poverty and addressing basic needs is most relevant. Why?  Because Indigenous Peoples are more often than not, included as among the world’s most vulnerable, discriminated and disadvantaged populations. However, it must also be clear from the outset that the 2030 Agenda  should not only consider Indigenous Peoples as recipients of development, but also as active partners and agents of self –determined development to their lands, territories and resources; and have been contributors to transformational change  through our traditional knowledge systems and innovations developed over generations.

For indigenous peoples, lifting people out of poverty means to promote non-monetary measures of well-being; instead of just boxing people based on the $1.25 income.   For example, targets under SDG Goal 1 on ending poverty:  should fully reflect the special situations of  land-based and natural-resource-based Indigenous Peoples; and that governments should include  an indicator on the recognition of  IP land tenure rights, which is very crucial in lifting IPs out of poverty.  Another indicator should also be included on the recognition and  strengthening of Indigenous Peoples’  diverse local economies  and traditional livelihoods and occupations that are based on subsistence and harmonious relationship with lands, natural environment and diverse ecosystems, not necessarily measured by monetary income.  

In relation to the recognition of land tenure rights and traditional local economies and livelihoods, there is also a need for cross referencing the achievement of agenda 2030 and the  SDGs with other government commitments on Human Rights and  international conventions that recognizes IPs’ rights as enshrined in the UNDRIP.

Furthermore, for indigenous peoples, the aspiration of the SDGs in  lifting people out of poverty  and addressing basic need also means the full respect, recognition and fulfilment of our collective rights as distinct Indigenous Peoples. These will ensure equality and non-discrimination; and accord us with our dignity and well-being as active partners in the implementation of the SDGs.

Having said this, the IPMG will again ask, how will the governments ensure that  land tenure rights is included as an indicator  under SDGs; and how will Indigenous Peoples and other marginalized stakeholders  should be actively involved in the follow-up and implementation of the development agenda and the SDGs, to ensure that no one will be left behind?  

Indigenous Peoples’ Major Group Statement at the HLPF 2030 Development Agenda on Session 7: Science-Policy Interface: new ideas, insights, and solutions

Delivered by Grace Balawag, Tebtebba-Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education, 12 July 2016

Thank you Chair, and thank you for all the insights from panelists. Thanks again for this opportunity to speak on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group. 

IPMG would like to highlight the summary recommendations from: The first annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI Forum) for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “This called for strengthening efforts to create innovative knowledge societies, advance STI policy coherence to enable technology development and diffusion, and support social technologies that are critical for changing mindsets and behaviors and helping those who are left behind. It further highlighted the need to strengthen dialogue between stakeholders and governments, and to promote a conducive environment for sharing and exchanging ideas and success stories, suggesting new initiatives and partnerships, and identifying practical means and solutions to foster STI in all countries. It further calls for the Forum to consider various sources of knowledge, including indigenous knowledge, and provide concrete, practical guidance on how to make STI for the SDGs a reality”.

Having said that, I would like to emphasize that we are missing the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ contributions and insights into the science-technology-policy interface.  Being stewards and custodians of many of the world's most biologically diverse ecosystems for generations, Indigenous peoples verifiably hold a wealth of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices on diverse ecosystems management and technologies, traditional health systems and medicinal plants; agricultural production and food systems, local crops and seeds, herding and pastoralism,  among others. Indigenous Peoples, including indigenous women, have a proven track record of responsible management of natural resources in forests, deserts, tundra, small islands, agricultural lands within `diverse ecosystems.

Further, the contributions of Indigenous Peoples to sustainable development should not only be recognized and respected, but whenever possible, celebrated as models of proven good practices with the potential to benefit all mankind. As active agents and drivers of change, Indigenous Peoples are important part of the solution towards the implementation of the SDGs; and this should be reflected in the monitoring and review envisaged for the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

However, while these realities are increasingly recognized among mainstream sectors, Indigenous Peoples continue to be threatened and excluded in  necessary processes in the development and implementation of science and technological solutions; and have been facing risks and challenges on such technologies which have been impacting Indigenous Peoples territories, lands and resources. Instead of enhancing social and environmental protection, such technological solutions have resulted to increased inequalities, marginalization and impoverishment of IP communities. For example, the implementation of  large-scale renewable energy projects such as hydro-electric  dams and geothermal energy projects have resulted to massive social conflicts and environmental destruction within IP lands, territories and resources; especially without the implementation of the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of affected IPs. The implementation of these supposedly considered “clean development technologies and solutions” resulted to killings of IP leaders defending their rights, had caused massive displacements of IP communities, and to more exclusion and marginalization of Indigenous peoples who were displaced from their traditional lands and territories.  And these are continuing risks and threats to the survival of many Indigenous Peoples in the name of development and clean development technologies?  So how can we say that no one will be left behind, if these large scale technologies and projects are part of the 2030 Development Agenda, but continue to threaten the survival of indigenous Peoples? How can scientific and technological communities directly assist in promoting Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge systems interfaced with more appropriate and viable innovations managed by local communities?

On the one hand, there are many alternative solutions that should be prioritized which include the promotion of community-based renewable energy or other appropriate technologies. Given the appropriate technological and technical trainings, these will be owned and sustainably managed by indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Furthermore, these community-managed initiatives should be supported and scaled up; and should enable the environment for local and regional partnerships as an effective way for long term sustainable implementation. The HLPF should integrate such viable alternatives and partnerships in its emerging monitoring and review framework, which will really serve as a platform for drawing attention to alternative solutions especially in areas requiring policy attention in regard to partnerships’ contribution to SDG implementation.

Meeting with NGOs; Monday, 4 July 2016; 1500-1630 (for Philippines /Myanmar / France)

I am Kakay Tolentino, from the Dumagat indigenous community. This representation is made on behalf of the community partners and members of the following organizations –BAI, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), and TEBTEBBA, and we would like to bring to the attention of the members of the Committee the increasing number of deaths, escalating human rights violations, intensifying poverty, and heightening of vulnerabilities of indigenous women. This, despite the passage of the RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, and the RA 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act. While these laws contain provisions on equality, and the protection of rights of indigenous women, the State has yet to fulfill its obligations in providing substantive equality for us, eliminating institutional discrimination against us, and protecting us and our communities from different forms of violence.

Under the Aquino administration, we have documented 90 indigenous peoples who have been victims of extrajudicial killings (from July 2010-april 2016). Among them are 8 women and 12 children, including  Juvy Capion, and her two young boys. Juvy was a B’laan indigenous leader, who was strongly opposed in the SMI-Xstrata Mining project in their ancestral domain, and was killed by military men. Most of those who have been killed are defenders of their rights to land and life, and natural resources from the corporate and state projects.

These mining and other development projects encroach upon indigenous peoples traditional territories without our genuine consent.  The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) invokes respect for cultural practices in their process of getting Free, Prior, Informed Consent (FPIC) from the indigenous communities. But the indigenous leadership is predominantly male-centric; and therefore, excludes indigenous women in the process of decision-making.  No measures are taken by the government to ensure that indigenous women are part of these FPIC processes. No measures are also taken to make mining corporations accountable for excluding women in substantively participating in the consultations and consent processes. 

This also perpetuates gender stereotype, and the patriarchal structure of leadership within indigenous communities.

While we acknowledge the noble intention of the state’s “NO HOME BIRTH” policy, we consider this as an affront to the indigenous women’s empowerment. Pregnancy and giving birth are celebrations of life for us, not a burden with double penalties as provided for by the said policy. To reach the development goal on maternal and infant mortality, pregnant women are required to access “skilled and facility-based” services. In the process, indigenous birth attendants are being disenfranchised and criminalized and even prohibited by local legislations to attend to maternal and infant care.  This is a threat to the fundamental freedom to informed choice and indigenous women’s right, to practice and develop knowledge and culture.

We note with concern how the current Conditional Cash Transfer (Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program for the poor and marginalized) how it has disempowered indigenous women. It has created a sense of dependence, thus, undermining community solidarity, self-help values and practices which has effectively sustained community resilience; we have also received cases of domestic and gender violence related to cash benefits and compliance processes.

This anti-poverty program should not replace secure employment, livelihood opportunities and land tenure for indigenous women.

Honorable Members of the Committee, Madam Chairman,

We are committed to sustainable development but there needs to be a strong political will by State and its agencies to recognize, fulfill and protect indigenous women’s right to self-determination, which encompasses our direct, full and effective participation, in all matters related to our human rights, political status, and well-being. There should be NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US!

Thank you for your kind attention!

Joint Shadow Reports submitted by:

 1.Tebtebba Foundation, Asia Indigenous Women’s Network, Bai (National Network of Indigenous Women, Teduray Women’s Group (TWG) and the Silingang Dapit sa Sidlakang Mindanao

2. Franciscan International, Franciscan Solidarity Movement for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (FSMJPIC);LILAC – (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) and Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)

 

(June 15, 2015) By not appointing the indigenous expert nominated by the Asia Indigenous Peoples' Movement, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council, last week, broke with a well established principle of respecting indigenous peoples' own selection process for indigenous expert members of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

“We need to assert  respect for indigenous peoples-led selection process and safeguard  the integrity and independence of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that  resulted from the global movement of indigenous peoples,” says Tebtebba  (Indigenous  Peoples’  International  Centre  for  Policy  Research  and Education). 

Tebetabba and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus, have expressed concern regarding the non-appointment of Ms. Joan Carling as the indigenous-nominated member from Asia to the Permanent  Forum on Indigenous Issues and written a letter to the President of the ECOSOC, in which they point out the following:  

As per ECOSOC resolution E/2000/22, which established the Permanent Forum, the President of the Council shall appoint eight of the 16 members of the Permanent Forum  “following formal  consultation  with  the  Bureau  and  the  regional  groups through their coordinators, on the basis of broad consultations with indigenous organizations, taking into account the diversity and geographical distribution of the indigenous people of the world as well as the principles of transparency, representativity and equal opportunity for all indigenous people, including internal processes, when appropriate, and local indigenous consultation processes…”

Break with well established procedure 
Indigenous peoples’ organizations in Asia have since then established a process of consultation through which the past and current indigenous-nominated members of the Permanent Forum from the region were nominated.

It was also through this process that Ms. Joan Carling, current member of the Permanent Forum, was nominated for a second term. The process, facilitated by Tebtebba, was undertaken from October 2015 to January 2016.

“The non-appointment of Ms. Carling, being the person nominated by indigenous peoples’ organizations in the region, is inconsistent with ECOSOC resolution E/2000/22, which could serve  as  a  bad   precedent affecting the integrity of the defined selection process. Furthermore, this is an affront to an indigenous-led and indigenous-defined process”, says Tebtebba.

Call for endorsement of letter 
Tebtebba has therefore prepared a letter to the President of the ECOSOC, in which they strongly urge the President to give due respect to the consultation processes of the indigenous peoples in Asia, which has been the past practice, and reconsider Ms. Joan Carling as the indigenous-nominated member to the Permanent Forum without further delay.

The letter has been circulated within indigenous organisations and support NGOs for endorsement. IWGIA encouarages all indigenous organisations, networks and NGOs to endorse Tebetebba's letter.

If you wish to endorse the letter you can contact: 

Prabindra  Shakya :  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Eleanor P. Dictaan - Bang-oa  : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Source: http://www.iwgia.org/news/search-news?news_id=1374#st_refDomain=www.facebook.com&st_refQuery=/

One of the much-talked about incidents of abduction in the CHT is the abduction of Kalpana Chakma who was, allegedly, kidnapped by a group of army and Village Defense Party (VDP) men on 12 June 1996 from her home at New Lalyaghona under Baghaichari Upazila in Rangamati District. It has been 20 years since Kalpana Chakma was abducted. Still none of the perpetrators has been brought to justice. The update of the Kalpana Chakma’s case was scheduled is for 8 May 2016. The Investigating Officer was scheduled to submit, on this day, an investigation report to the court for the 30th time since her abduction. However, as the investigating officer failed to submit the report, a new date 12 July 2016 was fixed. But the scheduled date came and went by without submitting any investigating reports. It was learnt from the assigned lawyer Advocate Juwel Dewan of BLAST that many such dates were, in the meantime, fixed up and as usual they went by before a date on 8 May 2016 was once again fixed. Unfortunately, even on that set date the court did not receive any investigation report. A new date 12 July 2016 was again set for producing the investigation reports.

 

Kalpana Chakma, the then organizing secretary of Hill Women’s Federation, was allegedly abducted on 12 June 1996 at mid-night from her home at New Lalyaghona in Baghaichari Upazila under Rangamati District by a group of army and Village Defense Party (VDP) men. On the same night, when Kalpana was kidnapped, the perpetrators also allegedly tried to shoot two of her elder brothers dead in front of their house. Lal Bihari Chakma, one of the elder brothers of Kalpana, was able to identify Lt. Ferdous Kaisar Khan, the then Commander of Kajoichari army camp and Md. Nurul Haque and Md. Saleh Ahmmed, VDP Platoon Commanders. In the face of a tremendous protest, the government formed a 3-member inquiry committee headed by retired justice Abdul Jalil after three months of the incident. The other two members of the committee were Dr. Anupam Sen, professor of Sociology Department of Chittagong University and the then Divisional Commissioner of Chittagong division. The committee failed to rescue Kalpana Chakma and even to identify the perpetrators.

 

Kalindi Kumar Chakma (Kalicharan), elder brother of Kalpana Chakma along with Diptiman Chakma, local UP Chairman, informed the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Baghaichari Upazila of the incident on the same day. After dilly-dallying for long, the police finally accepted the complaint as a case (no 2, dated 12/06/1996, Section 364). On 17 January 1997 the case was transferred to the District Special Branch. Later the case was again transferred to Baghaichari Police Station on 26 December 2004. After 14 years, on 21 May 2010, police submitted the final probe report replete with deliberately misleading contents, allegedly, to save the perpetrators from being accused. Kalicharan, complainant, protested against the flawed probe report of the police. Later on 2 September 2010, the court ordered the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Police for further investigation of the case. On 26 September 2012, a final report was submitted on behalf of the CID, Chittagong Zone. In that report, the CID argued that they could not find the victim. The complainant again expressed his disagreement with the inquiry report and demanded once again for further investigation. On 16 January 2013, the court handed over the case to the Superintendent of Police of Rangamati district. On 22 December 2013 the court ordered to collect DNA of Kalindi Kumar Chakma and Lal Bihari Chakma, both elder brothers of Kalpana Chakma claiming it as a part of the investigation. This directive is a deliberate harassment to the Kalapana’s family to mislead the case. After a hearing on 8 May 2016, the court again set the date of hearing on 12 July 2016.Thecourt hearings of the case of Kalpana Chakma have been continuing for years together without showing any significant progress in sight.

 

--

Kapaeeng Foundation

(A Human Rights Organization for Indigenous Peoples of Bangladesh)

Shalma Garden, House # 23/25, Road # 4, Block # B, PC Culture Housing, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207, Telephone: +880-2-8190801

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Web: www.kapaeeng.org