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From Inclusive to Just Development

Bangkok Civil Society Declaration 23 August, 2013 Asia and the  Pacific civil society groups representing 92  organisations  from 21  countries representing  various  major groups  and stakeholders  gathered in Bangkok to formulate a  just and transformative development agenda towards post-2015 and beyond. Our world is currently at a crossroads. Facing multiple and interconnected crises of environment, finance, food, energy, democracy and most of all a crisis of deep inequalities, we are confronted with a challenge and an opportunity. State policymaking over the past three decades based on a neoliberal economic model has led to wealth, power and resources accruing to a ...

Rights in Action: Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for Indigenous Peoples

This community-friendly animation video explains the concepts and mechanisms of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) through a story of interaction between indigenous peoples and people requesting their consent for new development. Free, Prior and Informed Consent is a core principle of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to guide collective decision-making. FPIC is a continual process that involves mutual respect and meaningful participation of indigenous peoples in decision-making on matters affecting them. The video also includes a story about customary law in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Length of Video: ...

Journalists recognized for outstanding reporting on indigenous issues in Nepal

Kathmandu, August 11, 2013: Three indigenous journalists received the inaugural Indigenous Voices in Asia (IVA) Awards for their outstanding reporting on indigenous issues in mainstream media. The awards were presented amid more than 200 indigenous and non-indigenous journalists in National Academy Hall in Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu. The award ceremony was organized by Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities Journalists (FONIJ) to mark its 14th foundation day.

IP women’s historical participation unreported

BANGKOK, Thailand – The bravery, affirmative actions of indigenous women in the peoples struggles are unheard off in the mainstream media. The coverage of real issues where they wage battle in development aggression and militarization are nil. They are only covered by journalists during festivals and other activities that promote stereotype presentations of their identity. These are some of the challenges faced by the indigenous women in dealing with mainstream media in for coverage of their issues. These points were brought out during the panel discussion on women and media in the Indigenous Voices in Asia (IVA) workshop held in ...

Nepalis IPs movement: Still a long way to go

Photo Courtesy: Dev Kumar Sunuwar

Looking back at the last 18 years in the history of Nepali Indigenous People (IP), also known as Adivasi Janajati, from the very first International Day of World Indigenous People on August 9 in 1995 to 2013, there are stories of both glory and despair. Known as ‘nationalities,’ the government for the first time recognized the concept of ‘Indigenous Nationalities’ in 1997 by promulgating an ordinance thereby creating a National Committee for the Development of Indigenous Nationalities led by Prof. Sant Bahadur Gurung. In 1999, the Committee identified 61 caste/ethnic groups as ‘nationalities.’ In 2002, the government finally approved and ...

West Papua: Indigenous leaders forced to sign away land to major food company

One of Indonesia’s largest consumer goods companies, PT Mayora, has been named by traditional Indigenous leaders from West Papua who say they were forced to sign away their lands under threat of being branded as “OPM/separatists” by the Indonesian police. Ambrosius Laku Kaize, Adat (Customary Chief) of the village of Kampung Yowid, Tubang District, Merauke, Papua, said in a statement from the Marind intellectual group known as Formasi Ssumawoma, that he was forced to sign a document placed in front of him by PT Mayora’s staff. “I was forced to sign, because the villagers of Kampung Yowid had been accused ...

Malaysia: Firmer commitment towards human rights conventions needed, says Suhakam chairman

KUALA LUMPUR: “More needs to be done as Malaysia is behind other countries in terms of being a party to human rights conventions,” says Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam. Hasmy does not want Malaysia to stay in the ‘comfort zone’ when it comes to acceding (becoming a party to) human rights conventions. He says that the ‘comfort zone’ is in fact an uncomfortable one.

AIPP Statement in Celebration of the 2013 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Theme: “Indigenous peoples building alliances: Honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements” Today, we commemorate the world’s indigenous peoples day with our fellow indigenous brothers and sisters across the globe. We gather in different places to celebrate the gains and achievements that we have had in the course of our struggles for the recognition, respect and protection of our rights as distinct peoples with collective rights. At the same time, we continue to address the challenges and emerging issues that seriously impact on our rights and wellbeing. The adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) ...

Malaysia: Govt forms task force on Orang Asli report

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has set up a national task force to look into the implementation of recommendations made by Suhakam in their national inquiry report concerning Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples that was released today [ on August 5]. The task force will be led by Integrity Institute of Malaysia chairman Mohd Tap Salleh and made up of government and NGO representatives from East and West Malaysia. There is no time frame for the task force at present. Speaking at a press conference after the report handover ceremony, Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Paul Low said the government ...

Bangladesh: Bengali settlers set fire on Jumma houses in Matiranga of Khagrachari district

On 3 August 2013 around 3:00 pm, Bengali settlers set fire on Jumma houses at Bandarshing Para, Baga Para, Monudas Para and Sorbeswar Para under Taindong union of Matiranga upazila in Khagrachari district. Local sources said that around 50 houses were burnt to ashes. The Jumma villagers fled into the Indian border. Bengali settlers looted and ransacked valuables of more than 200 houses of Jumma villagers. It is also reported that Bengali settlers held three Jummas namely Foni Bhushan Chakma current UP member), Bakul Kanti Chakma (returnee refugee leader) and Bineswar Chakma (former UP member) from Baga Para village of ...