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Equator Prize 2015 - Call for Nominations

28 April 2015, 2:32 am Written by
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Equator Prize 2015

 

A GLOBAL SEARCH FOR GRASSROOTS CLIMATE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS

The Equator Initiative is pleased to announce a global call for nominations for the Equator Prize 2015 as part of an extensive partnership effort underway to strengthen and highlight the role of indigenous peoples and local communities at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP21).

The Equator Prize 2015 will be awarded to 20 outstanding local and indigenous initiatives that are advancing innovative solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

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Learning from the Millennium Development Goals and leaving no one behind

 

The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Post-2015 Development Agenda aspire to “leave no one behind.” The Indigenous Peoples Major Group (IPMG), however, notes with concern that many references to “indigenous peoples” were deleted in the final Outcome Document of the Open-ended Working Group on the SDGs (OWG) to be considered for adoption by the UN General Assembly. The near “invisibility” of indigenous peoples in the current draft of the SDGs poses a serious risk of repeating their negative experiences with national development processes and efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as further marginalization in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. With the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples, the new SDGs could present a unique opportunity to not only the remedy shortcomings of the MDG process, but also historic injustices resulting from racism, discrimination, and inequalities long suffered by indigenous peoples around the world.

 

The failure to recognize indigenous peoples as distinct groups under the MDGs resulted in the absence of targeted measures to address their specific situations related to poverty and severely limited the realization of favourable outcomes. Furthermore, culturally blind implementation of the MDGs resulted in inappropriate development programmes for indigenous peoples including discriminatory actions related to education, health and basic services. If the world community truly aspires to leave no one behind, it is critical that these gaps be recognized and addressed moving forward. UN Member states and the UN system must fulfill their previous commitments to Indigenous Peoples whose needs must be centrally situated within the SDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

 

Respecting commitments from Rio+20 and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

 

The UN General Assembly has adopted important guiding principles and commitments in support of indigenous peoples and sustainable development arising from the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development and the 2014 High-Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP).[1] The Rio+20 outcome document “The Future We Want”, at paragraph 49, recognizes:

 

the importance of the participation of indigenous peoples in the achievement of sustainable development”and “the importance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of global, regional, national and sub-national implementation of sustainable development strategies.”

 

The WCIP adopted an action oriented outcome document aimed at implementing the principles set forth in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, affirming that:

 

indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development.” (Para. 33)

 

The WCIP also committed to “giving due consideration to all the rights of indigenous peoples in the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda.” (Para.37)

 

Consistent with the rights of indigenous peoples and their valuable contributions towards achieving sustainable development for all, these outcomes represent commitments that must be strongly reflected in the SDGs and the final Post-2015 Development Agenda.

 

KEY CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES

 

The Indigenous Peoples Major Group (IPMG) highlights the following key issues to beaddressed in the negotiations of the SDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

 

Universality Underpinned by Diversity

 

An outstanding challenge for the Post-2015 Development Agenda is upholding universality whilst recognizing and addressing the needs of specific peoples and persons facing structural disadvantages due to gender, age, race, ethnicity, nationality migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics. Respect for human rights and social inclusion requires the promotion of equality and non-discrimination by acknowledging social differences and cultural diversity and addressing these appropriately in different national contexts.

 

Generalized national averages on extreme poverty and the use of one-size fits all terms such as “vulnerable groups” cannot continue to institutionalize the invisibility of indigenous peoples within development frameworks. These trends fail to recognize the distinct cultural identities and political status of indigenous peoples who are rights-holders and recognized agents of change. The prevailing use of the term “vulnerable groups” to encompass the diverse situations of indigenous peoples within the SDGs and related processes undermines their legal standing as subjects of international law, as well as their own self-identification as indigenous peoples, a rights which is upheld by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

 

Universal goals require specific targets, indicators, and appropriate special measures to address indigenous peoples’ distinct needs in the development process so as to overcome historic structural inequalities and ongoing risks of human rights violations. This is true for indigenous peoples living in both developed and developing countries. Effective implementation of universal goals means being mindful of national contexts whilst respecting cultural diversity. Inasmuch as biological diversity underpins the resilience of ecosystems, cultural diversity of social systems and institutions underpins social resilience for sustainable development. This holds true for legal systems and legal pluralism including respect and recognition of customary law; diverse health traditions including traditional healing and medicines; diverse educationalinstitutions including transmission of cultural traditions; as well as diverse local economies and traditional livelihoods as countervailing alternatives to economic globalization.

 

Different peoples and societies have diverse cultural and spiritual views of sustainability, including conceptualizations of poverty, well-being and sustainable development, requiring culturally relevant indicators. Non-economic and non-monetary measures of well-being are important in promoting a holistic understanding of sustainable development. The financial measure of $1.25/day for extreme poverty is inappropriate for indigenous peoples, for whom security of rights to lands, territories and resources is essential for poverty eradication.

 

Monitoring their situation and making them visible in national statistics requires the inclusion of cultural identifiers in national census and population data, and disaggregated data to capture the situation of indigenous peoples. Indicators relevant for indigenous peoples need to be identified with their full and meaningful participation. Community-based monitoring and information systems can complement national monitoring of progress in the implementation of the SDGs as well as supporting local sustainable development plans and the implementation of special measures.

 

Upholding Indigenous Peoples Rights and Visions of Sustainable Development

 

Historical and continuing colonization and institutionalized racism have made indigenous peoples vulnerable in mainstream development processes in both developed and developing countries. Most indicators of well-being demonstrate that indigenous peoples are disadvantaged compared to other populations in all countries where they live. The Post-2015 Development Agenda must heed the advice of UN mandate holders and experts on indigenous peoples issues to address their distinct circumstances by upholding their rights to determine their own visions of sustainable development.

 

Indigenous peoples consider culture a foundational and a transformative dimension of sustainable development – understanding that diverse cultural values and spiritual traditions shape relations with nature. Other key messages and demands of indigenous peoples include:

 

Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), including the right to free, prior, informed consent (FPIC);

Recognition of diverse local economies, customary resource management and sustainable use practices, and traditional occupations as central to economic development and decent work;

Securing the lands, territories and resources of indigenous peoples against extractive industries, predatory investments, and development aggression; and

The recognition of indigenous and traditional knowledge on an equal footing with science and other knowledge systems for 21st century solutions to contemporary crises

Number of governments adopting FPIC policies or laws or regulations

Compliance with international human rights standards on consultations and FPIC with indigenous peoples on policies, programmes and projects which may affect them

Number of conflicts, displacement and relocation resulting from non-compliance with international human rights standards on consultation and FPIC

Number of constructive agreements resulting from FPIC

 

The IPMG emphasizes that environmental and social safeguards must be in place to address risks imposed on Indigenous Peoples by development, environment and climate change programmes and projects consistent with established obligations in the UNDRIP,

 

ILO Convention No. 169, and commitments made under the Convention on BiologicalDiversity (CBD) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).Safeguards must establish policies and procedures to prevent further risks of social,cultural, environmental damage, protect human rights and provide access to justice and redress mechanisms.

 

Valuing Contributions of Indigenous Peoples to Sustainable Development

 

Whilst acknowledging that indigenous peoples are among the most vulnerable and marginalized groups, they are also active participants and partners who are making important contributions to sustainable development. Indigenous peoples are identified as custodians of many of the world's most biologically diverse areas and verifiably hold a wealth of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices on ecosystem management and technologies, traditional health systems and medicinal plants; agricultural production and food systems, local crops and seeds. While these realities are increasingly recognized among mainstream sectors, indigenous peoples seldom share in the benefits of the commercialization of their knowledge. Indigenous peoples, including indigenous women, have a proven track record of responsible management of natural resources in forests, deserts, tundra, and small islands. Their contributions to sustainable development should not only be recognized and respected, but whenever possible, celebrated as models of good practices that have a huge potential to benefit all mankind.

 

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Synthesis Report

 

The recent Synthesis Report by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also affirms that UN SDGs and Post-2015 Development Agenda should “leave no one behind.” The IPMG welcomes the Synthesis Report and appreciates the recognition that “people are at the center of sustainable development. Further, the IPMG commends the report’s call for genuine commitment “to work together to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental protection and thereby to benefit all, as well as its overall commitment toward implementation through a human rights based approach to development. The Synthesis Report also affirms that the “meaningful participation” of essential actors, new partnerships, and key constituencies are critical for a true, transformative agenda (para. 7, 23, 61).

 

The IPMG welcomes the report’s various references to indigenous peoples, however; a specific reference to Major Groups would have also been welcomed as the “Major Groups and other stakeholders” participatory framework has proven to be successful during the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and the OWG. Additionally, the Synthesis Report defines “six essential elements” to help “frame and reinforce the universal, integrated and transformative nature of a sustainable development agenda and ensure that the ambition expressed by Member States in the outcome document of the Open Working Group (OWG) translates, communicates, and is delivered at the country level (para. 66). In this regard, the Synthesis Reports’ explanatory narrative is appreciated, however; based on the invisibility of indigenous peoples in the MDGs, the IPMG remains concerned that goals and targets will be addressed in silos, rather than viewed holistically.

 

The development of indicators remains a critical entry point for the full and meaningful participation of indigenous peoples in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The IPMG welcomes the Secretary General’s action-oriented approach that suggests ”Member States may decide to task the United Nations System, in consultation with other relevant experts and through a multi-stakeholder dialogue, to develop a draft set of indicators” (para 139). The IPMG is concerned, however, with the time-frame for the development these indicators, the lack of clarity over what UN agencies and experts will be involved, and how indigenous peoples can input directly into indicator development. The IPMG has developed and recommends specific indicators, for example, that can significantly contribute to this process.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

Based on the analysis of the OWG outcome document and its seventeen proposed sustainable development goals, the Indigenous Peoples Major Group (IPMG) has identified six key themes, as well as various targets and indicators for inclusion in the SDGs/Post-2015 Development Agenda. The key themes are clustered as follows:

 

1.) Disaggregation of data; 2.) Lands, territories and resources (LTR); 3.) Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC); 4.) Special Measures; 5.) Access to justice and redress mechanisms; 6.) Participation and representation in decision-making and relevant bodies.

 

Disaggregation of data

 

One of the main concerns of indigenous peoples with regards to implementation and monitoring of MDGs was the lack of disaggregated data specifically addressing indigenous peoples. As a result, indigenous peoples were invisible and absent in national reports and data collections. So as not to repeat the mistakes of the MDGs it is of vital importance to: 1) disaggregate data for every SDG by including indigenous identifiers in national data censuses,household surveys and other data gathering efforts; 2) to cross-reference WCIP commitments on data disaggregation with the SDGs document; 3) include existing indicators based on gender, age and ethnicity, etc.; 4) disaggregation to focus on education, health, basic social services, agriculture and labor statistics, etc., including traditional occupations and etc.

 

With this in mind, the IPMG recommends: the recognition and inclusion of community-based monitoring data collection and reports by the UN and national governments and to include indigenous peoples identifiers in administrative registers.

 

Lands, territories and resources

 

Lands, territories and resources (LTR) is another key theme for indigenous peoples world-wide as their basic survival depends on access to LTR. Unfortunately, indigenous peoples’ right to own, manage or control their LTR is not adequately reflected in the newly developed SDGs. Forests, rangelands, bodies of water, and related natural resources worldwide are often held and managed by indigenous peoples whose rights are recognized by International Human Rights Law and Instruments, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the ILO Convention No. 169. The SDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda should strengthen rather weaken indigenous peoples’ land tenure systems, which will be vital in achieving poverty eradication (Goal 1), sustainable agriculture (Goal 2), and the protection and restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity (Goal 15)[2]

 

The IPMG recommends the following:

 

-Include the language in Target 1.4 that provides legal recognition of collective land rights ofindigenous peoples and local communities under goal 1 on poverty eradication.

 

1.4.: 1) Proportion (area) of collective lands under the tenure of indigenous peoples and local communities that is legally recognized, secure, documented and protected and guarantees equitable access and use to women and men; 2) Number of laws, executive orders, policies and territorial maps which recognize indigenous peoples’ rights to lands, territories and resources in accordance with the international law [can also be applied to 12.2]; 3) Land use change on indigenous peoples’ territories (CBD indicator), 4) % of land owned and controlled by indigenous peoples,5) Number of indigenous peoples living on those lands.

 

1.5: 1) Percentage change in GDP derived from the use of common land and natural resources by women and men who are members of indigenous peoples and local communities.; 2) Percentage and distribution of benefits derived from the use of common land, natural resources, and ecosystem services retained by the women and men who are members of indigenous peoples with tenure over those resources.

 

14.2: 1) Number of marine and coastal ecosystems sustainably managed by indigenous peoples; 2) Number of government policies recognizing indigenous peoples’ rights to marine and coastal ecosystems developed in consultation with indigenous peoples; 3) Number of government policies recognizing indigenous peoples’ livelihoods in marine and coastal ecosystems developed in consultation with indigenous peoples.

 

15.1: Percentage of lands, territories and resources sustainably used and managed by indigenous peoples.

 

Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)

 

Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is critical for the sustainable development for indigenous peoples and is a prerequisite for any development projects occurring on indigenous lands. During the OWG process, specifically during the July session, the IPMG regretted to observe FPIC moving from the proposed Goal on biodiversity to the Goal on “means of implementation,” and then disappear from the document all together. It is important to note that FPIC a commitment recognized by governments in the outcome document of the WCIP in paragraphs 3 and 20.

 

With this in mind, the IPMG recommends inclusion of a specific Target under Goal 17 on means of implementation “to consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources” [WCIP commitment, paragraph 20]. The IPMG also proposes the following indicators relevant to the recommended inclusion of a specific Target under Goal 17:

 

The IPMG also calls for inclusion of FPIC indicators under goals 6, 9, 11, and 16.

 

6.5 and/or 6b: Extent of indigenous peoples participation based on FPIC in all phases of development of water-related resources at all levels

 

9.1 and/or 9.a: Consultations with indigenous peoples and participation in decision-making in regards to infrastructure development based on FPIC

 

11.1: Number of incidences of displacement and relocation of indigenous peoples without FPIC

 

16.7: Number of policies that recognize the duty to consult and cooperate in good faith with indigenous peoples in order to obtain their FPIC before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them. [WCIP commitment, paragraph 3]

 

Special Measures

 

To achieve the universality of the goals requires appropriate special measures in order to address indigenous peoples’ distinct needs and to overcome historic disadvantages and continuing human rights violations. Examples of “special measures” include access to culturally appropriate, bi-lingual education leading to ability to read and speak in mother tongue, targeted interventions to overcome poverty, build capacity of indigenous women, combat child labor, protect traditional livelihoods and health practices. The establishment of safeguard mechanisms also constitutesspecial measures, which are necessary to ensure substantial equality for indigenous peoples.

 

The IPMG recommends the following indicators, to help ensure that the particular needs of indigenous peoples are addressed via Special Measures:

 

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere:

 

1.1.: 1) Existence of special measures to overcome poverty of vulnerable groups including women, children, indigenous peoples, ... within national poverty reduction measures

 

1.2: 1) Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) disaggregated by sex with break down by age, children, unemployed, persons with disabilities, pregnant women/new-borns, indigenous peoples and other disadvantaged groups.; 2) Proportion of population living below national poverty line, disaggregated by sex with break down by children, unemployed, old age, persons with disabilities, pregnant women/newborns, members of indigenous peoples, and other disadvantaged groups.

 

1.3.: 1) Percentage of population covered by social protection floors/systems, disaggregated by sex with breakdown by age, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and local communities.

 

1.4.: 1) Percentage of women and men with secure rights to land, measured by (i) percentage with documented rights to land, and (ii) percentage who do not fear arbitrary dispossession of land (proposed SDG indicator); 2) Title deeds or other binding agreements in recognition of indigenous peoples' collective rights to lands or territories; 3) Status and trends in traditional occupations (CBD indicator)

 

1. b 1) Number of national action plans, strategies or other measures to achieve the ends of the UNDRIP developed in consultation with Indigenous Peoples [WCIP commitment, paragraph 8]

 

1.5:. Percentage of people living in or within x distance to uncontrolled dumpsites and other “hot spots” emitting and releasing hazardous chemicals by sex with a breakdown by children, pregnant women/newborns, unemployed, persons with disabilities, members of indigenous peoples.

 

Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture:

 

2.1: Consumption of diverse locally-produced food (Biodiversity International, resilience indicator)

 

2.3: 1) Status and trends in traditional occupations (CBD indicator); 2) percentage of women and men with secure rights to land (proposed SDG indicator); 3) Area of land legally recognizedunder the tenure of indigenous peoples and local communities (ILC, OXFAM, etc); 4) Recognition of customary tenure regimes within national legal frameworks in line with international human rights standards and the Committee on World Food Security's Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests.

 

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages:!
3.8.: Existence of regulatory provisions allowing access of indigenous peoples and local communities to traditional health practices, medicine and knowledge. [WCIP commitment, paragraph 11 and 12]

 

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all:

 

4.1: 1) Special measures to ensure equal access to high quality culturally relevant and accessible education for indigenous peoples within the national education strategies [WCIP commitment, paragraph 11]; 2) Proportion of young adults (18-24) who are literate in their indigenous language; 3) Special measures to train bilingual indigenous teachers; 4) Recognition of the right to learn in mother tongue; 5) Diversification of curriculum in accordance with cultural and linguistics characteristics within the national education framework

 

4.5: 1) Availability of school materials in indigenous languages; 2) Accessible school infrastructure for vulnerable groups including nomadic groups and indigenous peoples

 

Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls:

 

5.5: 1) Number of special measures or programs to promote capacity building and strengthen leadership of indigenous women [WCIP commitment, paragraph 17]; 2) Percentage of seats held by indigenous women in national parliament and/or subnational elected office according to their share in the population

 

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all:

 

6.3: presence of contaminants from extractive industries and other sources in water on indigenous peoples’ lands and territories

 

6.b: policies in places to support and strengthen the participation of indigenous peoples for improving water and sanitation management

 

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all:

 

7.1: Appropriate environmental and social safeguards, in accordance with international standards on indigenous peoples’ rights and in all phases and levels of energy development projects


 

7.a: Number of new alternative energy initiatives carried out in collaboration with indigenous peoples.

 

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all:

 

8.5: Existence of legal or regulatory frameworks to protect local economies and traditional livelihoods/occupations including subsistence livelihoods]

 

8.9: # of jobs and livelihoods created for indigenous peoples through development of sustainable tourism

 

8.10: Ratio/or percentage of indigenous peoples and other disadvantaged groups, disaggregated by sex, accessing appropriate financial services

 

Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation:


 

9.1: Appropriate environmental and social safeguards, in accordance with international standards on indigenous peoples’ rights, in all phases and levels of infrastructure development projects

 

10.2 by 2030 empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status; 2) Measure the progressive reduction of inequality gaps over time, disaggregated by age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status for selected social, economic, political and environmental SDG targets; 3) Proportion of seats in national and local government held by relevant social groups and indigenous peoples, disaggregated by sex and according to their share in the population (modified MDG indicator, proposed SDG indicator)

 

10.3: Percentage of indigenous peoples and other disadvantaged groups reporting perceived existence of discrimination based on all grounds of discrimination prohibited by international human rights law

 

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable:

 

11.1: 1) number of appropriate human settlement provided to indigenous peoples; 3) proportion or level of participation of indigenous peoples in planning and management


 

11.3: number of plans and level of indigenous peoples participation

 

11.4.: Provision of access for indigenous peoples to their religious and cultural sites and access to and repatriation of their ceremonial objects and human remains [WCIP commitment, paragraph 27]

 

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns:

 

12.4 – 1) number of policies prohibiting waste disposal in indigenous peoples’ territories;

 

12.b – 1) % jobs created to promote local culture and products

 

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts:

 

13.1: 1) use of strategies based on traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to impacts of climate change and natural disasters [WCIP commitment, paragraph 36];

 

13.3: 1) number of education programs and awareness raising campaigns specifically targeting indigenous peoples; 2) number of capacity building programs on climate change targeting indigenous peoples;

 

13.b: 1) representation of indigenous peoples in climate change related offices and high level meetings.

 

Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels:

 

16.6: 1) Existence of special measures to strengthen capacity of indigenous peoples’ representative institutions; 2) existence and capacity of NHRI to reach out to vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples; 3) institutional mechanisms and procedures for consultation with indigenous peoples, in accordance with international standards.

 

Access to justice and redress mechanisms

 

The IPMG recommends a target on access to justice and redress mechanisms that is specific to indigenous peoples. With instances of harassment and displacement of indigenous peoples, militarization of indigenous peoples’ lands and territories, and criminalization of indigenous movements and activists around the world it is especially important to have a safeguard mechanism that would ensure access to justice and redress for indigenous peoples. Indigenous territories and lands are increasingly becoming the targets of invasion for the purposes of resource extraction and militarization, leading to violence and armed conflicts, displacement, human rights violations and, in some cases, genocide. Discrimination and violence against indigenous women and girls, in particular, are among the worst and most pervasive forms of human rights violations perpetrated against indigenous peoples as a result of armed conflicts. Ending militarization and initiating processes to demilitarize the lands, territories, waters and oceans of indigenous peoples and to end, not least, the violence against indigenous women and girls, must form part of the SDG framework. With this in mind, the IPMG recommends the following target and indicators:

 

Target within Goal 16: Recognition of legal plurality and customary laws of indigenous peoples and access of indigenous peoples to redress mechanisms. Indicators: 1) Capacity building for legal practitioners on customary laws; 2) Number of governments recognizing customary laws

 

16.3: Existence of procedures to delineate competencies and resolve conflicts between customary and statutory law [WCIP commitment, paragraph 16, also UNDRIP, article 40]

 

16.4: Availability of training programs for customary law authorities on international human rights standards

 

16.5: Existence of the right to access to translation in legal proceedings recognized in national constitutions or other forms of superior or domestic law

 

Participation and representation in decision-making and relevant bodies

 

Participation and representation in decision-making and relevant bodies is yet another critical domain and a prerequisite for Indigenous Peoples self-determined development. Nation states should recognize and ensure full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in all decisions that would affect their lands, territories, and resources, their cultural expressions and identities, traditional livelihoods, and etc.

 

The IPMG recommends the following indicators:

 

6.b: number of policies that support and strengthen the participation of indigenous peoples for improving water and sanitation management (also under special measures)

 

13.b: 1) percentage of indigenous peoples representatives in climate change related offices and high level meetings (also under climate change).16.7: 1. Provisions for direct participation of indigenous peoples’ elected representatives in legislative and elected bodies; 2. Recognition in the national legal framework of the duty to consult with indigenous peoples before adopting or implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them [WCIP commitment, paragraph 3]

 

ANNEX 1!
A/RES/66/288 - The Future We Want

 

http://www.uncsd2012.org/thefuturewewant.html

 

OUTCOME DOCUMENT OF THE WORLD CONFERENCE ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES! A/RES/69/2http://www.un.org/en/ga/69/meetings/indigenous/documents.shtml

 

Paragraphs 33; 37

 

For further information contact the IPMG at 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.;This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In February and March 2015, at least 14 indigenous women and girls in Bangladesh were subjected to sexual and physical violence. Of them, six women and girls raped including two rang raped, 7 were attempted to rape and one was physically assaulted in plain lands and Chittgaong Hill Tracts (CHT) of the country. Out of 14 victims, 7 victims were under age 18 and among the 7 victims, three girls were 6, 8 and 10–year old. A pregnant Marma woman also became under the victim of attempt to rape.

 

The total victims of indigenous women and girls relating to sexual and physical violence rose 20 in 2015 from January to March. In January 2015, six indigenous women and girls including one allegedly killed after rape were subjected to sexual violence across the country.

 

Indigenous Chakma woman attempted to rape in Fatikchari

 

On 1 February 2015, an indigenous Chakma woman, 28, of Chakmatilla under Fakitchari sub-district was allegedly attempted to rape by Mohammad Shahbuddin, 55, son of Animul Rahman of same sub-district’s Bholagaji village. This incident took place when the victim went to collect firewood at Karnaphuli Tea Garden situated near her village.

 

It is learnt that around 1:15 pm in the afternoon, when the victim went to collect firewood in Karnaphuli Tea Garden, Mohammad Shahbuddin followed her. When Mohammad Shahbuddin found her alone, he grabbed her from behind and tried to rape her forcefully. Victim however tried to save herself and resisted with a dao (sharp knife used for household and agricultural purposes) she was carrying. At that time some alteration took place between them and as a result, the alleged perpetrator Mohammad Shahbuddin was later found injured. The victim managed to flee from the spot and informed the locals about the incident. Mohammad Shahbuddin was taken to hospital for treatment. No case has been filed yet.

 

Two indigenous Chakma women attempted to rape in Laxmichari

 

On 1 February 2015, two indigenous girls, one 20-year old and other 18-year old, of Moishkata village under Laxmichhari upazila in Khagrachari district were allegedly attempted to rape by two Bengali settlers of Maghaichari’s Guchchha Gram’s (cluster village). The perpetrators have been identified are Mohammad Elias (18) son of Mohammad Robiul and Md. Zilhad (20) son of Md. Hannan. It is learnt that the victims were going to collect water from a stream nearby their home at around 1:30 pm in the afternoon, at that time Md. Elias and Md. Zihad suddenly appeared in the scene and tried to rape them grabbing them from behind. At that time the girls shouted out, as a result local indigenous villagers came to know about the incident and rushed to rescue them. Meanwhile, the miscreants managed to flee the scene. A case has been filed.

 

A minor Chakma girl attempted to rape Dighinala

 

On 2 February 2015, a Chakma girl, 13, was allegedly attempted to rape by a Bengali settler named Bashed Mia in Bachamorong village under Dighinala upazila in Khagrachari district while she was working at a tobacco field.

 

It is learnt that the victim is a student of grade eight at Betchhari High School. As she comes from a poor family, she has been compelled to work at the tobacco field of late Elahi Bux. Few other women belonging to Bengali settler community also works along with her. Like every other day, on 2 February 2015, the victim went to work early morning. However there was no one other than the victim working in the field on that very day. Between 8:00-9:00 am, finding the victim alone, the perpetrator Bashed Mian, 35, son of late Elahi Bux held the victim tight from the back and tried to rape her forcefully. At that time the victim shouted out for help. The local villagers rushed to the scene and rescued the victim. They held the alleged perpetrator Bashed Mian and later handed him over to the police. A case was filed with the Dighinala police station, under Women and Child Repression Prevention Act.

 

A Santal girl gang raped in Dinajpur

 

On 6 February 2015, at around 7:00 pm a 17-year old indigenous Santal girl was gang raped by two Bengali men at Barokona village under Parbotipur upazilla in Dinajpur district. Victim’s father Ram Hasda filed a case (No: 07, dated: 08.02.2015) against the perpetrators with Parbotipur model police station. It is learnt that, on the day of accident at around 7:00 pm, the victim was cooking alone at her home, at that time her parents were at local market place for shopping. In the meantime, Md. Lizu, 27, son of Md. Ajijul from Kalibari village and Md. Shafiqul Islam, 22, son of Faijar Rahman from Nayapara village came to the victim’s house and forcefully abducted her into the bamboo bushes near Lizu’s home. The rapist held and raped her overnight and they fled the spot after sunrise.

 

A minor Tripura girl raped in Manikchhari

 

On 12 February 2015 at around 12:30 pm a Tripura girl, 10, from Kalapani area under Manikchhari upazilla in Khagrachari was attempted to rape by a Bengali settler. It is learned that, on that day in the morning the victim went to the market. She was returning home from market by motorcycle. On her way back home a motorcycle driver belonging to Bengali settler community named Mohammad Faruk, 26, son of Tanu member (Khalil) of Kalapani area in Manikchhari Upazila under Khagrachhari district offered her a lift and she accepted the offer. At some point, Mohammad Faruk stopped the motorcycle at a quiet place and tried to grab her. At that time the victim shouted out and villagers from that neighborhood came to rescue her, but Md. Faruk immediately fled the scene. Later on the same day victim’s father filed a case with Manikchhari police station.

 

A pregnant Marma woman attempted to rape in Kaukhali

 

On 5 March 2015, some local goons made an attempt to rape a pregnant Marma woman of Headman Para village under Kaukhali in Rangamati tying her husband with rope. It is learnt from the locals that on that night at around 10:30 pm, a band of local goons numbering five led by Saddam Hossain, 21, son of Hashem Hossain, Bappi Majumder, 22, son of Gourango Majumder, made the attack at victim’s home. The band tied victim’s husband Uchi Maung Marma and bet him. Later they attempted to rape the pregnant woman and tried to loot a mobile phone form the victim. However after a lot of shouting and screaming, neighbors from nearby place came to rescue them, the next day Uchi Maung Marma went to file a case with Kaukhali police station, however police did not accept the case with the excuse of absence of the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of the police station. On 7 March 2015 Uchi Maung Marma went to the police station again and filed a case under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000, case no.1 (2003) 9 (4) Kha/clause 30. The victim was sent to a local victim support centre. It is reported that the victim as well as the baby inside remained out of danger. It is learnt that this was not the first time the miscreants committed such crime, previously they had harassed other locals too. Police could not arrest anyone in this connection.

 

An indigenous woman gang raped in Dighinala

 

On 9 March 2015 at night an indigenous minor girl of Nonchari village under Dighinala upazilla in Khagrachari district was raped by some Bengali settlers. The victim is a 10th grade student. On that night the victim went to take part at an overnight religious ceremony (MahaMangal sutra) held at Dighinala Bana Bihar. She along with two of her companion were returning home at around 10:00 pm, after walking a distance they halted at a place called Kalvert nearby their house, at that time four Bengali settlers named Mohammad Sohel, 28, son of Abdur Rouf; Amir Hossain, 26, son of Late Ali Akbar; Sohag Mia, 32, son of Ali Newaz and Saiful Islam, 25, son of Liakat, came to the spot and told them that some boys from PCP were calling them and it was very urgent. Trusting the Bengali settlers they went to Kabakhali Bazaar with them. After they reached the place the perpetrators and locked the other two companions on Juba Sangha Club and raped the victim one by one. While the perpetrators were raping the victim one of the companion managed to escape the place and after going home she informed everyone about the incident. Later the companions father Milan Karbari informed the people through phone and on 10 March 2015 at around 6:00 am they rescued the victim and took her to Khagrachari Sadar hospital for treatment. Md. Sohel and Amir Hossain is the president of Dighinala district unit of Bangladesh Chattra league, the student wing of ruling Awami League. Md. Sohel was expelled from the organization following the incident. In order to exclude them from the group, a letter has been sent. It is learnt from Md. Shahdat Hossain Titu that one of the perpetrator Md. Sohel was arrested on 10 March around 11:45 am near Kathaltoli area in Dighinala sub-district. A case was filed under the Prevention of Women and Children’s Repression Act 2000.

 

An indigenous Chakma girl raped and shot video after kidnapping in Jurachari

 

On 20 March 2015 Naresh Chakma 20, son of Sugendu Chakma of Bonojogichara under Jurachari upazila abducted a girl from her residence of Jurachari upazila in Rangamati district and detained her in a place. Later he raped her and shot a video of him raping the girl. Naresh also threatened the girl saying, if she discloses the rape incident, he would circulate the video on internet. Later victim informed her relatives about the incident and the victim’s father with the help of Bonojogichara Union Council’s member Sushanto Chakma filed a case with Jurachari Police station. The victim is a girl of 10th grade in Jurachari upazila under Rangamati district.

On 20 March 2015, the perpetrator was arrested by police due to abduction, rape and circulation of nude video footage. It is learnt from Jurachari police station’s Officer-in-Charge Mohammad Yusuf Siddiqui that victim’s father himself filed a case under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act and Pornography Control Act.

 

A minor Marma girl attempted to rape in Rajasthali

 

On 22 March 2015, at about 4:45 pm, a 14-year old minor Marma girl was reportedly attempted to rape by a young Bengali settler boy at village of Kuturia Para of Bangal Halia union under Rajasthali upazila (sub-district) of Rangamati hill district. The Jumma girl is a student of grade seven of Bangal Halia High School.

 

It is learnt that at the above-said time the Jumma girl, address- Kuturia Para of Bangal Halia union, was returning home alone from her school. When she was passing almost half-way to home, then one Md. Raju (16) son of Md. Azad appeared there and grabbing her attempted to rape. The girl then and there shouted out and tried to tussle with the culprit. Hearing the shout of the girl, nearby villagers came there in a run and at this Md. Raju fled the spot quickly.

 

It is learnt that Md. Raju came there from Comilla few days back and is now staying at house of his grandmother Khodeza Begum (45) wife of Helal Uddin of No. 2 Kuturia Para of No. 3 Ward under Bangal Halia union of Rajasthali upazila. It is mentionable that the girl got injured too as she tried to escape the culprit and later was taken to a local clinic for treatment. Till preparing the report, the accused was not arrested.

 

An indigenous Santal minor girl raped in Ghoraghat of Dinajpur

 

On 23 March 2015 at around 11:30 am in the morning a 6-year old girl of Kucherpara village under Ghoraghat sub-district in Dinajpur district was raped in the same village by a local young boy.

 

It is learnt that on that day in the morning the victim was taken out of the house in the name of playing some games by the same village’s Samson Mardi, 15, son of Madar Mardi. While Samson Mardi was raping the victim, the victim cried and screamed loudly. Hearing the victim cry, locals from nearby area rushed to the spot to escape the victim. The victim was rescued with injuries with blood all over her body. She was immediately admitted to Ghoraghat hospital for medical treatment by the locals. After the incident, one of the family members of the victim filed a rape case in Ghoraghat police station. It is learnt through some source that Officer-in-Charge of Ghoraghat Police station, Farhad Imrul Kayes along with his group arrested the rapist and sent to Dinajpur central jail.

 

An indigenous girl attempted to rape in Rajshahi

 

On 25 March 2015, an 8-year old indigenous girl of Kondain village under Pachondor Union of Tanore sub-district in Rajshahi district was attempted to rape. After this incident, victim’s brother filed a case with Tanore police station.

 

It is learnt through the police and some source that on 24 March 2015, in the evening the victim was returning home after collecting some potatoes from the field. Knowing that no one was at home and the victim’s mother was admitted to hospital as she was sick, Abdul Aziz, 60, son of Late Joyen Uddin from the neighboring village, entered the house and rapeed the victim forcefully. Later when the victim’s grandmother Chintamoni returned home, she found the victim injured and blooded all over her body, when she asked the victim what had happened, the victim told everything in details. Knowing what has happened Chintamoni informed the locals, the locals tried to find Aziz, who in the mean fled from the place.

 

It is learnt that, the victim was admitted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital for medical treatment and a case was filed under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act. Police is yet to catch Md. Aziz.

 

An indigenous Garo girl raped in Mymensingh

 

On 28 March 2015 an indigenous girl, 14, of East Sangra para village under Haluaghat sub-dustrict of Mymendingh district was raped by a cheat named Suman Mian, by tempting the victim in the name of marriage.

 

It is learnt through some source, Sumon Mian son of Dulu Mian and the victim had started alove affair on phone before 3-4 months. Taking advantage of this love affair, on 28 March 2015, Sumon called the victim to Jhinaigati bus terminal saying he would marry her. Trusting the perpetrator, the victim came to the spot, later Sumon took the victim to a mud house in Sangra village of Haluaghat union in a motor cycle. Assuring the victim that he made all the arrangement of their marriage and soon at night they will get married. Sumon raped the victim forcefully and left the girl alone in a road of Baghaitola and fled the spot.

 

Hearing the victim cry in the road, an old man ruched to the spot and provided her shelter for one night, next day on 29 March 2015, the old man informed the victim’s mother Minoti Chisim. Hearing the news Minoti Chisim, filed a case on 29 March 2015 under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act. However the police failed to arrest the perpetrator. The perpetrator is roaming around publicly without any fear.

 

After this incident on 30 March 2015, Haluaghat Police conducted a medical test of the victim and on that same day took the victim and her mother to Mymensigh and under section 22, the Executive Magistrate accepted the Testament of the victim and her mother.

 

An indigenous Chakma woman physically assaulted in Rangamati

 

On 30 March 2015, it is learnt that an indigenous Chakma woman, 45, of Shutkipotti area under Reserve Bazaar in Rangamati district was beaten up. The victim was admitted to Rangamati general hospital.

 

It is learnt that the victim herself filed a written complaint with Kotwali police station under Rangamati district against the perpetrator. The victim is from Bhushonchara union under Barkal Upazila.

 

Through the complaint it is learnt that on 30 March 2015 around 5:00 pm in the evening the victim goes to Shutkipotti area of Reserve Bazaar in order to buy some dry fish from a business man named Md. Akhter’s shop. While buying the dry fish the victim gave BDT 1000 to the shop keeper Md. Akhter, 45, as the shop keeper did not have any change, the victim brought some change from her husband keeping the dry fish at the shop. While she was taking the dry fish, the shop keeper replaced the good fish with the rotten fish. After seeing this, the victim asked the shopkeeper to return her money, as the shopkeeper did not return the money an alteration took place between them, at some point the shopkeeper beat the victim. Later some neighboring shopkeepers came to the spot and rescued the victim and admitted her to Rangamati general hospital.

 

Source:

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

Thank you, Your Excellencies!

 

My name is Martha Lekitony Ntoipo from Pastoralist Information and Development Organization which is a part of the Indigenous Information Network.

 

It is encouraging to see the ambitious goals set to come after the Millennium Development Goals, as women and Indigenous for that matter; there are a number of goals that touch our lives and improve our well being if there will be serious and inclusive/participatory approach in the implementation at all levels but most crucially the National Level.

 

It would therefore make greater sense to have the globally approved goals with its target and Indicators but take a step further to domesticate them and shape them according to the need of each Individual State.

 

These goals have general as well as specific definition and to specific groups like women and Indigenous people, we would like to reiterate that

 

  1. Targets are SMART, specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic and time bound to ensure smooth monitoring and evaluation of the goals set.

  2. There is a human-rights based approach towards achieving the goals as well as full participation of all stakeholders( youth, women and indigenous people) at all stages.

  3. Specific Targets which may have been overlooked and are attached to Cultural practices and are a threat to a certain section of the society are paid close attention to, for Example Target 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriages as well as Female Genital Mutilation.

 

We call on you in your capacities to discuss and adopt a document that gives hope to everyone and priority to human rights with emphasis on those of women and girls, gender equality, social services such as health, infrastructure, education accessible to all especially those who live in the villages, environmental sustainability and empowerment of women and girls in all areas of decision making by enabling their full political participation.

 

Thank you very Much

 

 

Political declaration on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women


 

We, ministers and representatives of Governments,

have gathered at the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, to undertake a review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”, including current challenges that affect the implementation of the Platform for Action  and the realization of women’s and girls’ full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls throughout their life cycle, as well as to ensure the acceleration of the implementation of the Platform for Action and to use opportunities in the post-2015 development agenda for the integration of a gender perspective into economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development; and with a commitment to ensuring mainstreaming a gender perspective into the preparations for and the integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to all the major United Nations conferences and summits in the development, economic, social, environmental, humanitarian and related fields so that they effectively contribute to the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls;

and therefore we: AD REF

 

 

  1. Reaffirm the Beijing Declaration1 and Platform for Action2, the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly3 and the declarations of the Commission on the Status of Women on the tenth and fifteenth anniversaries of the Fourth World Conference on Women4; AD REF


 

  1. Recognize that the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the fulfilment of the obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women are mutually reinforcing in achieving gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls and the realization of their human rights, and call on states that have not yet done so to consider ratifying or acceding to the Convention and its Optional Protocol; AD REF


 

3. merged with 3ALT and 4: Welcome the progress made towards the full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action through concerted policy action at national, regional and global levels; also welcome the review activities undertaken by Governments in the context of the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, noting the contributions of all other relevant stakeholders and the review outcomes; and also look forward to the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment on 26 September 2015; AD REF


 

5. Express concern that progress has been slow and uneven and that major gaps remain, and obstacles, including, inter alia, structural barriers, persist in the implementation of the 12 critical areas of concern of the Platform for Action, and recognize that twenty years after the Fourth World Conference on Women, no country has fully achieved equality and empowerment for women and girls, that significant levels of inequality between women and men, girls and boys persist globally, and that many women and girls experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, vulnerability, and marginalization throughout their life cycle; AD REF


 

 

7 alt merged with 6 and 7. Recognize that new challenges have emerged and reaffirm our political will and firmly commit to tackle challenges and remaining implementation gaps in all twelve critical areas of concern, which are: women and poverty, education and training of women, women and health, violence against women, women and armed conflict, women and the economy, women in power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women, human rights of women, women and the media, women and the environment, and the girl-child; AD REF


 

11. Pledge to take further concrete actions to ensure the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly including through strengthened implementation of laws, policies, strategies and programme activities for all women and girls; strengthened and increased support for institutional mechanisms for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at all levels; the transformation of discriminatory norms and gender stereotypes and the promotion of social norms and practices that recognize the positive role and contribution of women and eliminate discrimination against women and girls; significantly increased investment to close resource gaps, including through mobilization of financial resources from all sources, including domestic resource mobilization and allocation and increased priority to gender equality and the empowerment of women in official development assistance, to build on progress achieved and ensure that official development assistance is used effectively to contribute to the implementation of the Platform for Action; strengthened accountability for the implementation of existing commitments; enhanced capacity building, data collection, monitoring and evaluation, and access to and use of information and communication technologies; AD REF


 

8alt, 9 and 10 merge: Emphasize that the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is essential for achieving the unfinished business of Millennium Development Goals and for tackling critical remaining challenges through a transformative and comprehensive approach in the post-2015 development agenda; including through the sustainable development goal on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, as proposed by the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals in its report which shall be the main basis for integrating Sustainable Development Goals into the post-2015 development agenda, while recognizing that other inputs will also be considered, in the intergovernmental negotiation process at the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly, and also through integrating a gender perspective into the post-2015 development agenda; AD REF


 

11.bis Reaffirm the primary responsibility of the Commission on the Status of Women for the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, and recall the follow-up work done by the Commission in that regard; and also reaffirm its catalytic role in promoting gender equality and empowerment of women based on the full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session and in promoting and monitoring gender mainstreaming within the United Nations system; AD REF


 

12 and 14 merged. Recognize the important role of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and the central role it is playing in supporting Member States, and in coordinating the United Nations system, and mobilizing civil society, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders at all levels in support of the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; and call upon UN-Women and the United Nations system to continue to support the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and its review and appraisal at the international, regional, national and local levels, including through systematic gender mainstreaming, mobilization of resources to deliver results, and monitoring of progress with data and robust accountability systems; AD REF


 

13. Welcome the contributions made by civil society, including non-governmental organizations, women’s and community-based organizations, to the implementation of the Platform for Action, and pledge to continue supporting at local, national, regional and global levels civil society engaged in the advancement and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls including by promoting a safe and enabling environment for them; AD REF


 

6bis ALT Recognize the importance of the full engagement of men and boys for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and commit to take measures to fully engage men and boys in efforts to achieve the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action;   AD REF


 

15 and 15 ALT merged. Commit to engaging all stakeholders for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and call upon them to intensify their efforts in this regard; AD REF


 

16. ALT: Commit to use all opportunities and processes in 2015 and beyond to accelerate and achieve the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in order to achieve concrete results in each review cycle, and strive for the full realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women by 2030. AD REF


 


 


 


 


 

1  Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.13), chap. I, resolution 1, annex I.

2  Ibid., annex II.

3  General Assembly resolution S-23/2, annex, and resolution S-23/3, annex.

4  See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 2005, Supplement No. 7 (E/2005/27), chap. I.A. and E/2010/27

We, the indigenous women of the Americas, Asia, Africa, the Arctic, and the Pacific, recalling the Fourth World Conference on Women organized in Beijing by the United Nations, assemble once more to reaffirm the advancements we have achieved during the past twenty years in terms of political advocacy at an international level.1.

 

Firstly, we highlight the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Outcome Document adopted at UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. (A/RES/69/2).

 

We also highlight the two resolutions on indigenous women approved by the CSW: “Indigenous women: beyond the ten-year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action”, which urges the adoption of measures that ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous women in all aspects of society2; and “Indigenous women: key actors in poverty and hunger eradication”3, which urges States and agencies of the United Nations system to adopt measures aimed at promoting the empowerment of indigenous women and the realization of our rights.

 

Notwithstanding the aforementioned advancements, 20 years after Beijing, the rights of indigenous women continue to be infringed upon in the majority of our countries and territories.

 

Thus, we urge Member States to include in the outcome document of the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women the following priorities:

 

  1. To promote the generation of data disaggregated by ethnicity and gender; as well as to allocate budget to design and to monitor holistic indicators of indigenous peoples’ well-being4.

  2. To examine the distinctive features of violence against indigenous women, in consultation with the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and other special procedures mandate holders within their respective mandates5.

  3. We invite the Commission on the Status of Women to consider the issue of the empowerment of indigenous women at a future period of sessions6.

  4. We recommend advocacy in favour of the empowerment of indigenous women and the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes designed to promote capacity-building and to strengthen their leadership, in collaboration with indigenous peoples, in particular indigenous women and their organizations. We urge states to honour their assumed commitments aimed at developing measures that ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous women in decision-making processes at all levels and in all areas, and to eliminate barriers to their participation in political, economic, social and cultural life7.

  5. We recommend the formulation of policies for the economic empowerment of indigenous women, bearing their traditional knowledge in mind and improving their Access to resources in equal condition, including allocation of specific Budget for Indigenous women.

  6. We urge to consider all of the rights of indigenous peoples in the elaboration of the post 2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals8.

7. We recommend the agencies created by virtue of international human rights treaties, specially The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to examine the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples within the frame of their respective mandates. We encourage Member States to include, where appropriate, information on the situation of Indigenous women, including measures adopted to attain the goals of the Declaration, in the reports that they present to those agencies and in the universal periodic review process9.

 

Further information:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / www.fimi-iiwf.org

1 E/C.19/2014/CRP.1

2 Resolution E/2005/27

3 Resolution E/CN.6/2012/L.6

4 A/RES/69/2, 10

5 A/RES/69/2, 19

6 A/RES/69/2, 19

7 A/RES/69/2, 17.

8 A/RES/69/2, 37.

9 A/RES/69/2, 29

Throughout the month of January 2015, two indigenous people including a woman were stabbed to death. The woman was allegedly killed after rape or an attempt to rape her. Six indigenous women and girls were subjected to sexual violence across the country. Among them, five victims including a 7-year old girl were raped and another one was attempted to be rape. In an incident, mother and daughter together were gang raped.

 

Besides, two massive communal attacks on indigenous peoples was taken place in January 2015. In these attacks, around 28 houses of indigenous peoples were burnt to ashes and at least 70 houses were vandalised and looted. In addition, 20 indigenous people were wounded and 19 indigenous villagers were arrested by the police. In addition, a land grabbing incident was taken place in this month.

 

Killing of indigenous student and woman:

 

On 9 January 2015 Bablu Hembrom, 25, an indigenous student of Rajshahi Government College, was brutally hacked to death in Tanore under Rajshahi district. A case was filed by Mohesh Hembrom, father of the deceased. However, police did not arrest any culprit.

 

On 30 January 2015, an indigenous Khasi girl named Monalisa Nongprot, 18, daughter of late John Potham, from Gandhai Punji under Baralekha upazilla of Moulvibazar district was found dead in the Gandhai Punji areas. It is alleged that she was stabbed to death by miscreant(s). Lean Nongkrot, maternal uncle of the victim, filed a case with Borolekha police station. However, police is yet to trace and take actions against the perpetrators.

 

Violence against indigenous women:

 

On 6 January 2014 an indigenous Bagdi women along with her daughter was gang raped beside of their own home at Brittidanga village of Sarisha Union under Pangsha upazilla in Rajbari district. The perpetrators were identified as Safin Sheikh, younger brother of acting Union Parishad (UP) member Sohrab Hossain, Oli Sarder, 28, Saddam, 22, and Ziarul. The victims have filed a case (no 3, date 10/01/2015, under section 7/9(3)/30) against the perpetrators named Safin Sheikh (25) and other 4 person with Pangsha police station. Police arrested the main accused Safin Sheikh and they are trying to arrest the rest of the culprits. After filing the case, the perpetrators are giving death threats to the victims for withdrawing the case.

 

On 14 January 2015 a 7-year-old Marma girl studying in grade II at Kashkhali Primary School was allegedly raped by a Bengali settler named Ayub Ali, 45, son of Khondoker Sururj Mia of Kashkhali village under Kaukhali upazilla in Rangamati district. Police held alleged perpetrator after identified by the victim herself. The doctors in Rangamati General Hospital further referred the victim to Chittagong Medical College Hospital for her better treatment. On 15 January at around 2:00 pm the victim underwent a successful operation.

 

On 27 January 2014 a 16-year Jumma girl was attempted to rape by construction labourer named Md. Habib at Sapmara under Matiranga upazila in Khagrachari district. The perpetration was caught red handed while trying to rape the girl. In a local arbitration, negotiation was taken to fine Md. Habib with BDT 10,000 and to quit him from Khagrachari district.

 

On 28 January 2015, a 20-years-old indigenous Marma girl with disablity was allegedly raped at Pankhaya Para under Khagrachari sadar in Khagrachari district by a miscreant named Deba Bikash Barua, from Mahalchari upazila under Khagrachari district. A case (Case no. 09, dated 28/01/2015) has been filed under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act at Khagrachari sadar police station. Locals caught and handed the perpetrator over to the police. Victim was admitted to Khagrachari sadar hospital for her treatment.

 

On 28 January 2015 at around 12:00 am, an indigenous Bawm girl, 16, was allegedly raped by a Bengali settler named Salahuddin Bappi, 23, at No. 1 Ghat areas under Ruma upazila under Bandarban district. Victim was rescued at around 1:00 am by the locals. Locals also caught and handed over the perpetrator to the police. Victim was admitted to the Bandarban General Hospital for medical examinations. Lianthan Bawm, father of the victim, filed a case with under Women and Child Repression Prevention Act.

 

Communal attack:

 

On 10 January 2015, inauguration of Rangamati Medical College ignoring mass disapproval sparked fresh conflicts throughout the Rangamati town. In a stage, the conflicts turned into Jumma-Bengali communal clashes for 10-11 January 2015. In this violence, at least 30 persons including more than 20 Jummas were injured on 10 January and at least 7 Jummas sustained injuries and three houses including two houses belonging to indigenous Jummas were burnt to ashes.

 

On 24 January 2014 an indigenous Santal village named Chirkuta (Habibpur) under Mostafapur union of Parbotipur upazila in Dinajpur district went under attack allegedly by a group of Bengali land grabbers. The land grabbers looted and vandalized all the houses and belongings of indigenous peoples, leaving all indigenous families literally destitute.

 

Earlier in December 2014, two communal attacks were taken place. In Bogochari-Naniarchar attack on 16 Deceember, 57 houses were set on fire and in Basanya Adam attack in Longadu upazila on 12 December, 54 Jumma people were physically assaulted.

 

Land grabbing:

 

Recently, an influential local leader of ruling party named Liakat Ali allegedly grabbed land belonging to Chhamin Khasia, daughter of of Mokam Punji under Jaintiapur upazila in Sylhet district. Also, there are allegations that Liakat Ali has been continuously intimidating and harassing indigenous villagers of Mokam Punji in this connection.

 

It is learnt that on 4 January 2015 in the morning, as per direction of Liakat Ali, the General Secretary of Awami League, Jaintiapur upazila unit, a gang of land grabbers composed of nine persons chopped down nearly a hundred betel nut trees of paan jum (betel leaf garden), traditionally the main source of livelihood of indigenous Khasi people, a traditional source of livelihood, of Khasi villagers of Mokam Puni with the intention to grab nearly four acres of the land of Chhamin Khasia. The next day, on 5 January, the same land grabber gang brought around 20-25 trucks of rocks and dumped the paan jum as per Liakat’s direction. While doing so, the miscreants dumped the rocks on the lands of nine indigenous Khasi families living near the vicinity of the paan jum. When indigenous peoples tried to obstruct and remove some rocks from there, they were threatened to be slayed by the gang of Liakat (Please visit www.kapaeeng.org for detailed report).

 

In Moulvibazar district, recently Jhimai Tea Garden authorities decided to cut down around 2,000 trees on a land, ownership of which is being claimed both by the garden owner and Khasi community. The 71 Khasi families in Jhimai Punjee claimed that they have been paying taxes on the land and if the trees are felled, betel leaves which they have been cultivating there will get destroyed.

 

In Joypurhat district, a group of land grabbers namely Md. Solaiman Ali, Montu, Sadek Ali and Md. Azad have been trying to occupy homesteads of 7 families of Munda (Pahan) communities at West Shiyan Para under Akkelpur in Joypurhat district. The land grabbers filed a case against the indigenous families with Akkelpur police station. With an aim to harass indigenous families, the police also charged Madhab Pahan s/o Ghataru Pahan for steeling cell phone set from him on 19 January. Now, the Munda families are passing days with insecurity.

 

Source:

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

On 24 January 2014 an indigenous Santal village named Chirkuta (Habibpur) under Mostafapur union of Parbotipur upazila in Dinajpur district went under attack allegedly by a group of Bengali land grabbers. The land grabbers looted and vandalized all the houses and belongings of indigenous peoples, leaving all indigenous families literally destitute.

 

It is learnt that on the day of incident at around 7.30 am, Zahurul Islam (50) and his brother Ziarul Mandal, both sons of late Mohammad Ali, from Habibpur under Parbotipur upazila in Dinjapur district went to work on 19 acres land of Joseph Tudu and his family. When Joseph Tudu and his family members came to know about the incident, they tried to stop alleged land grabbers and some altercation took place between two groups. At some point around a dozen of Bengalis joined in favor of Jahurul’s family and the feud turned violent. As a result, some Santals villagers were forced to shot arrows in order to defend themselves. Later, Zahurul's son Safiul Islam Sohag (22) was found dead. Besides, some Santal villagers namely Rakib Tudu, Ruben Tudu and Kablu Tudu were injured in the clash.

 

After learning about the incident, hundreds of Bengalis encircled whole Chirakuta village with locally made weapons including ramda, machete, sharp knife, and dagger. However, they did not attack until police held 19 Santal men. After police took those people, the assailants broke over the Santal houses — they set fire on at least 25 houses and vandalized 65 houses of Santal villagers and looted all the belongings of indigenous villagers including food, kitchen utensils, furniture, cattle and tube wells, leaving each and every indigenous family literally destitute. The attackers also set fire on a primary school run by Caritas-Bangladesh. Beside, in the attack, one Mikhalina Murmu (28), a pregnant indigenous woman, and one Mikhael Tudu were tortured and survived serious injury. Both of them were later admitted to Dinajpur sadar hospital.

 

Mahmudul Hoque (29), the uncle of Saiful Islam Sohag, filed a case (case No. 22, dated 24/01/14) with Parbotipur police station against indigenous Santals accusing named 28 and 14 unanimous indigenous persons. On the other hand, a Santal woman victim named Nilima Hembrom filed a case (case No. 29, dated 28/01/2014) against 76 identified Bengali persons and many unknown persons with Parbotipur police station in connection with this incident.

 

Police has not arrested any of the attackers as of yet, although all the 19 indigenous persons who were held by the police earlier have remained under the custody of the police except for Antineus Tudu, a candidate of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination, whose exam is scheduled to be held from 2nd February 2015. On 29 January, the court granted bail to until the SSC examination period.

 

It is mentionable that Zahurul Islam has been claiming his ownership over the land of Joseph for last few years. In this situation several talks and arbitrations took place between Joshep Tudu and Zahurul Islam. The local UP chairman, police and other villagers also joined the talks. Every time Joseph Tudu showed land documents whereas Zahurul Islam failed to show any.

 

On 27 January, a three-member probe committee was formed by Shamim Al Razi, the Deputy Commissioner of Dinajpur district to investigate the incident. The probe committee is supposed to submit their probe report within 15 days since the formation of the committee. The members of this team are Touhidul Islam, Additional District Magistrate, Dinajpur; Sushanta Sarkar, Assistant Superintendent of Police (Sadar circle), Dinajpur; and Jahangir Alam, Assistant Commissioner of Land, Parbotipur upazilla.

 

On 25 January, an onsite enquiry team of Jatiya Adivasi Parisad (JAP) visited Chirakuta village. The team found obvious signs of demolition of indigenous houses including remnants of clay-made walls, ashes, charcoal and other debris from burning. They also found that all the indigenous men fled the village and all the young girls were sent to their relatives’ elsewhere allegedly due to the fear of police arrest and further attack by the Bengalis.

 

The investigation team of JAP found the evidence that the case of land grabbing was turned into a communal attack. They also claimed that although the clash was between two families, other Bengali people who were incited to make this brutal attack on indigenous Santals.

 

Different citizen groups and indigenous peoples’ organizations condemned the brutal attack on indigenous Santals of Chirakuta and demanded to bring all the perpetrators to justice. Indigenous peoples organizations including Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, JAP, Kapaeeng Foundation, and Bangladesh Indigenous Students Action Forum staged demonstrations to protest against the attack.

 

Name of Santal villagers against whom land grabbers filed cases and among them police held 19 persons from sl. 1 to 19 villagers:

1. Barnabas Tudu, 40,

2. Habil Tudu, 55, both son of Late Manir Tudu

3. Antinues Tudu, 22,

4. Emelius Tudu, 20, both son of Josef Tudu

5. Jibon Hembrom, 22, son of Vadu Hembrom

6. Khalil Tudu (Ripan), 25, son of unknown

7. Lazarus Tudu, 20, both son of Habil Tudu

8. Juwel Tudu, 22,

9. Bifol Mardi, 20, son of Noren Mardi

10. Noren Mardi, 51,

11. Mosoi Tudu, 58, son of late Mohon Tudu

12. Chelsu Hembrom (Rengta), 45,

13. Renatus Hembrom, 40, both son of late Regna Hembrom

14. Rakib Murmu, 32, son of Suren Murmu

15. Romesh Soren, 50, son late Dhanai Soren

16. Alfaskius Tudu, 43,

17. Karlus Tudu, 30, both son of Gonesh Tudu

18. Bachu Barman, 38, son of late Ghutu Barman

19. Hayus Tudu (Thosa), 42, son of Churkai tudu

20. Josef Tudu, 55,

21. Mikhael Tudu, 45, both son of late Raghunath Tudu

22. Aihas Tudu, 45, son of Churkai Tudu

23. Kistu Tudu, 35, son of late Sam Tudu

24. Gudai Tudu, 58, son of late Manir Tudu

25. Srimon Tudu, 35,

26. Noren Mastar, 42,

27. Vadu Hembrom, 50, son of late Chotu Hembrom

28. Benedic Tudu, 25

 

Please visit for following for lList of loses of indigenous Santal villagers of Chirakuta village under Parbotipur upazilla in Dinajpur: www.kapaeeng.org

 

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

On 24 January 2014 an indigenous Santal village named Chirkuta (Habibpur) under Mostafapur union of Parbotipur upazila in Dinajpur district went under attack allegedly by a group of Bengali land grabbers. The land grabbers looted and vandalized all the houses and belongings of indigenous peoples, leaving all indigenous families literally destitute.

 

It is learnt that on the day of incident at around 7.30 am, Zahurul Islam (50) and his brother Ziarul Mandal, both sons of late Mohammad Ali, from Habibpur under Parbotipur upazila in Dinjapur district went to work on 19 acres land of Joseph Tudu and his family. When Joseph Tudu and his family members came to know about the incident, they tried to stop alleged land grabbers and some altercation took place between two groups. At some point around a dozen of Bengalis joined in favor of Jahurul’s family and the feud turned violent. As a result, some Santals villagers were forced to shot arrows in order to defend themselves. Later, Zahurul's son Safiul Islam Sohag (22) was found dead. Besides, some Santal villagers namely Rakib Tudu, Ruben Tudu and Kablu Tudu were injured in the clash.

 

After learning about the incident, hundreds of Bengalis encircled whole Chirakuta village with locally made weapons including ramda, machete, sharp knife, and dagger. However, they did not attack until police held 19 Santal men. After police took those people, the assailants broke over the Santal houses — they set fire on at least 25 houses and vandalized 65 houses of Santal villagers and looted all the belongings of indigenous villagers including food, kitchen utensils, furniture, cattle and tube wells, leaving each and every indigenous family literally destitute. The attackers also set fire on a primary school run by Caritas-Bangladesh. Beside, in the attack, one Mikhalina Murmu (28), a pregnant indigenous woman, and one Mikhael Tudu were tortured and survived serious injury. Both of them were later admitted to Dinajpur sadar hospital.

 

Mahmudul Hoque (29), the uncle of Saiful Islam Sohag, filed a case (case No. 22, dated 24/01/14) with Parbotipur police station against indigenous Santals accusing named 28 and 14 unanimous indigenous persons. On the other hand, a Santal woman victim named Nilima Hembrom filed a case (case No. 29, dated 28/01/2014) against 76 identified Bengali persons and many unknown persons with Parbotipur police station in connection with this incident.

 

Police has not arrested any of the attackers as of yet, although all the 19 indigenous persons who were held by the police earlier have remained under the custody of the police except for Antineus Tudu, a candidate of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination, whose exam is scheduled to be held from 2nd February 2015. On 29 January, the court granted bail to until the SSC examination period.

 

It is mentionable that Zahurul Islam has been claiming his ownership over the land of Joseph for last few years. In this situation several talks and arbitrations took place between Joshep Tudu and Zahurul Islam. The local UP chairman, police and other villagers also joined the talks. Every time Joseph Tudu showed land documents whereas Zahurul Islam failed to show any.

 

On 27 January, a three-member probe committee was formed by Shamim Al Razi, the Deputy Commissioner of Dinajpur district to investigate the incident. The probe committee is supposed to submit their probe report within 15 days since the formation of the committee. The members of this team are Touhidul Islam, Additional District Magistrate, Dinajpur; Sushanta Sarkar, Assistant Superintendent of Police (Sadar circle), Dinajpur; and Jahangir Alam, Assistant Commissioner of Land, Parbotipur upazilla.

 

On 25 January, an onsite enquiry team of Jatiya Adivasi Parisad (JAP) visited Chirakuta village. The team found obvious signs of demolition of indigenous houses including remnants of clay-made walls, ashes, charcoal and other debris from burning. They also found that all the indigenous men fled the village and all the young girls were sent to their relatives’ elsewhere allegedly due to the fear of police arrest and further attack by the Bengalis.

 

The investigation team of JAP found the evidence that the case of land grabbing was turned into a communal attack. They also claimed that although the clash was between two families, other Bengali people who were incited to make this brutal attack on indigenous Santals.

 

Different citizen groups and indigenous peoples’ organizations condemned the brutal attack on indigenous Santals of Chirakuta and demanded to bring all the perpetrators to justice. Indigenous peoples organizations including Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, JAP, Kapaeeng Foundation, and Bangladesh Indigenous Students Action Forum staged demonstrations to protest against the attack.

 

Name of Santal villagers against whom land grabbers filed cases and among them police held 19 persons from sl. 1 to 19 villagers:

1. Barnabas Tudu, 40,

2. Habil Tudu, 55, both son of Late Manir Tudu

3. Antinues Tudu, 22,

4. Emelius Tudu, 20, both son of Josef Tudu

5. Jibon Hembrom, 22, son of Vadu Hembrom

6. Khalil Tudu (Ripan), 25, son of unknown

7. Lazarus Tudu, 20, both son of Habil Tudu

8. Juwel Tudu, 22,

9. Bifol Mardi, 20, son of Noren Mardi

10. Noren Mardi, 51,

11. Mosoi Tudu, 58, son of late Mohon Tudu

12. Chelsu Hembrom (Rengta), 45,

13. Renatus Hembrom, 40, both son of late Regna Hembrom

14. Rakib Murmu, 32, son of Suren Murmu

15. Romesh Soren, 50, son late Dhanai Soren

16. Alfaskius Tudu, 43,

17. Karlus Tudu, 30, both son of Gonesh Tudu

18. Bachu Barman, 38, son of late Ghutu Barman

19. Hayus Tudu (Thosa), 42, son of Churkai tudu

20. Josef Tudu, 55,

21. Mikhael Tudu, 45, both son of late Raghunath Tudu

22. Aihas Tudu, 45, son of Churkai Tudu

23. Kistu Tudu, 35, son of late Sam Tudu

24. Gudai Tudu, 58, son of late Manir Tudu

25. Srimon Tudu, 35,

26. Noren Mastar, 42,

27. Vadu Hembrom, 50, son of late Chotu Hembrom

28. Benedic Tudu, 25

 

Please visit for following for lList of loses of indigenous Santal villagers of Chirakuta village under Parbotipur upazilla in Dinajpur: www.kapaeeng.org

 

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

Indigenous Bagdi mother and daughter raped by Bengali miscreants at Pangsha in Rajbari

 

On 6 January 2014 an indigenous Bagdi women along with her daughter was gang raped beside of their own home at Brittidanga village of Sarisha Union under Pangsha upoziela in Rajbari district. The victims have filed a case (no 3, date 10/01/2015, under section 7/9(3)/30) against the perpetrators named Safin Sheikh (25) and other 4 person with Pangsha police station.

 

It is learnt that the day of incident, at around 8.30 pm, Safin Sheikh, younger brother of acting Union Parishad (UP) member Sohrab Hossain, Oli Sarder (28), Saddam (22), Ziarul and other 4/5 unidentified persons came to her house and asked them to open the door. The woman was dragged forcefully to a nearby place around 200 yards far from her home, when she opened the door. After a while, they also dragged her daughter who had come to visit her mother two weeks before from her in-laws house. Then, Safin and Oli forcefully raped both mother and daughter and fled away. However, after few hours, the gang led by Safin and Oli came again and they forcefully took mother out of the house and, Shafin and Oli raped the daughter for the second time one after another.

 

Pangsha police station informed that they arrested the main accused Safin Sheikh and they are trying to arrest the rest of culprits. It is notable that after filing the case, the perpetrators are giving threat to the victims for withdrawing the case; otherwise they will burn them alive with petrol. Now the victims are living in serious insecurity.

 

A grade II Indigenous student raped in Kaukhali

 

A 7-year-old Marma girl studying in grade II at Kashkhali Primary School was allegedly raped by a Bengali settler named Ayub Ali, 45, son of Khondoker Sururj Mia of Kashkhali village under Kaukhali upazilla in Rangamati district on 14 January 2015. Police held alleged perpetrator after identified by the victim herself.

 

On 14 January at around 12:00 pm the girl was returning home from school with a friend of her. At some point she went to buy some snacks and got separated from her friend. Then she started walking back home alone. When she arrived at Kashkhali Bangatila area, the alleged perpetrator, Ayub Ali, appeared in the scene and forcefully raped her. Immediately after raping, Ayub Ali fled the scene.

 

After she was raped, the victim managed to reach home with her body soaked in blood, informed her mother. The girl was immediately taken to Kaukhali Upazila Health Complex. As her body was heavily bleeding, the doctors referred her to Rangamati General Hospital at around 4:00 pm. However, the doctors in Rangamati General Hospital further referred the victim to Chittagong Medical College Hospital for her better treatment. Later at around 9:00 pm in the night the girl was admitted to the Emergency Department of Chittagong Medical College Hospital. Later, the doctors transferred her to the Gynecology Department, where she was in close observation for two hours and then transferred to the Children’s Department. On 15 January at around 2:00 pm the victim underwent a successful operation. According to her family members, the victim’s health condition has slightly improved. She was under the supervision at the One-stop Crisis Centre of Chittagong Medical College Hospital up to this writing.

 

Victim’s father filed a case with Kaukhali Police Station on 14 January. Nilu Kanti Barua, Officer in Charge (OC) of Kaukhali Police station, informed that police arrested Ayub Ali on the same day (14 January) in the evening. The victim was produced to the court on 15 January. The perpetrator confessed his misdeed.

 

Being a poor family, victim’s family was unable to bear the expenses related to medical treatment and other costs. Different community people and indigenous student organizations like CHT Hill Students’ Council and Bangladesh Marma Students’ Council came forward in this regard and provided the victims with limited support. Different rights and civic groups have demanded exemplary punishment of the perpetrator.

 

In December 2014, a teen-aged girl killed after raping in Kaptai and two girls were attempted of raping in Khagrachari district

 

On 15 December 2014, a tender-aged Jumma girl identified as Umraching (Atuma)Marma alias Chhobi (15) village ChitmaramKayangGhatunder Kaptaiupazila in Rangamti district was brutally killed on 15 December 2014. It is assumed that UmrachingMarma was killed after raping. The victim had appeared JSC Examination in Chitmaram High School this year.Victim’s father filed a case with Kaptai police station and police arrested two Bengali settlers in connection with this incident.

 

On 19 December 2014 a 2nd year Marma girl of Mahalchari College was attempted to rape by a Bengali settler youth at Kaptai Para near Mahalchari thana brigde under Mahalchari upazila in Khagrachari district. The miscreant was caught by the public and handed over to police. The victim tried to file case, but police of Mahalchari police station denied accepting any case. On the contrary, alleging torture of said settler youth by the public, Bengali settlers brought out procession.

 

On 21 December 2014 a 10-year old Tripura girl (grade V student) named Champa Rani Tripura of SudhilaRanjan Headman Para of Taindong union under Matirangaupazila in Khagrachari district was attempted to rape by Md. BadshahMian (22) s/o Harunur Rashid of Majhpara of same upazila.

 

Babul Hembrom, a Santal student leader killed in Rajshahi

 

Bablu Hembrom, 25, a leader of Santal Students Union and honours fourth-year student of Rajshahi Government College, was hacked to death by unknown miscreants. He was found dead with the throat slit in his house at Moyenpara of Tanore on January 10, 2015.

 

Peaceful Blockade against Medical College Set-up turns Rangamati in Turmoil

 

An all-out dawn-to-dusk road and waterway blockade called on by Chittagong Hill Tracts Hill Students’ Council (popularly known as Pahari Chatra Parishad-PCP) on 10 January 2015 against government’s plan to set-up a medical college in Rangamati has turned this beautiful hill town in turmoil. Due to repeated communal attacks made by hundreds of members of pro-Awami League organizations and Bengali settlers on indigenous peoples, the district administration was compelled to impose section 144 and later curfew in the town.

 

The government’s plan to set up Rangamati Medical Collage and Rangamati University of Science and Technology has been opposed by indigenous peoples in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) including PCP, a representative student organization of indigenous Jumma students of the CHT. PCP leaders argued that if the medical college and university were set up, thousands indigenous and non-indigenous residents of the region would fall victims of serious adverse impacts. Hence, they demanded postponement the Medical College and the University until the CHT Accord of 1997 is fully implemented by the government.

 

Yet, overriding this popular demand of CHT’s inhabitants, the government kicked off intake of students for MBBS first year course and planned to inaugurate Rangamati Medical College on 10 January. The decision of the government agitated the indigenous peoples and citizen groups across the country. To protest the initiative of the government, PCP called on all-out dawn-to-dusk road and waterway blockade program on 10 January throughout Rangamati district.

 

On the day while PCP along with support and participation of students en masse was observing its blockade program, hundreds of members of the Chhatra League, a pro government student organization, Samo Odhikar Andolan and Parbatya Juba Front carried out communal attacks upon the Jumma peoples in different parts of Rangamati town. It all began when the Awami League district committee President, Dipankar Talukder, aboard in his vehicle was passing through Court Building area ignoring the blockade at 9:30 am, instigated the Chatra League members to attack the PCP picketers. The Chhatra League members pelted stones and cocktails at PCP members. As a result, at least 15 persons including Jyotirmoy Chakma, 45; Ripon Chakma, 21; Suresh Chakma, 21; Durjoy Chakma, 25; Mohan Chan Dewan 26; Kanti Chakma, 42; Choto Chakma 28; Moni Chakma, 40; Surjya Chakma, 25; Shyamalendu Chakma, 30; Ankur Bikash Chakma et al sustained serious injuries.

 

Later on the same day, the miscreants of Chhatra League, Samo Odhikar Andolan and Parbatya Juba Front, spreading communal tension, attempted to attack Jummas in different places of Rangamati including Banarupa, Tribal Adam, Ananda Viahara (a Buddhist temple) and Siddhi Bhaban areas. They pelted brick chips upon Jumma-owned shops and Jumma people. In these attacks, Deborshi Chakma, 38; Probin Chakma, 17; Jibanta Tanchangya, 35; Biki Chakma, 25, son of Bimal Kanti Chakma sustained injuries. Among them, Biki Chakma was hacked by attackers leaving serious injuries in head, cheek and abdomen. He has been shifted to Chittagong Medical College in serious condition.

 

As the situation was deteriorating as the time was going by, district administration imposed Section 144 in Ragamati town on 10 January at 11:30 am for an indefinite period. However, this effort of the district administration went in vain as the pro-government organization and organizations of settler Bengalis continued to spread communal tension and make attempts to attack upon indigenous peoples in different parts of the town.

 

On 11 January at around 4:30 pm, Bengali settlers, led by the members of pro-government organizations, made attempts to attack upon indigenous peoples and their shops at Banarupa areas in Rangamati town. Later on the same day violence spread throughout the town and Bengali settlers, led by members of pro-government organizations cracked down on indigenous peoples of Vedvedi, Ananda Vihara, Tabalchari, Reserve Bazar, Public Health area and Kathaltali areas of the hill town. At least 7 indigenous persons namely Samarendu Chakma (25) (an MLSS staff of Deputy Commissioner’s office) at Public Health area; Tarun Bikash Chakma (30) s/o Hengotya Chakma at Vedvedi area; Monikko Dewan Happy (30) w/o Monghla Prue Marma at Tabalchari; Titu Marma (26) and Buddha Moni Chakma (32) s/o Manulal Chakma at Tabalchari were injured. Besides 4 houses including three belonging to indigenous peoples were torched and looted by the miscreants.

 

Considering the situation ‘out-of-control’ Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Rangamati town Shamsul Arefin, in consultation with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, declared curfew beginning from 7:30 pm on 11 January - 8:00 am on 12 January. In order to ‘pacify’ the situation, curfew was scheduled once again from 5:00 pm on 12 January-7:00 am on 13 January 2015. Later on, the Section 144 was withdrawn from 11:00 am on 13 January 2015. People are virtually locked at their homes and most of the shops, marketplaces, offices, banks etc. remained closed.

 

Meanwhile, at least 35 persons have held by police for ‘defying’ Section 144 and curfew. Hundreds of members of Army, RAB, BGB and Police have been deployed in the town since 10 January.

 

Source:

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