EMRIP16: Item 3 – Statement of National Indigenous Women Federation (NIWF)
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
17-21 July 2023
Item 3 of the provisional agenda
Study on the impact of militarization on the rights of Indigenous Peoples
National Indigenous Women Federation (NIWF), Nepal
Delivered by: Meena Kumari Lama
Thank you, Mr. Chair,
Indigenous brothers and sisters
We welcome the outcome of the EMRIP “Study on the Impact of Militarization on Indigenous Peoples”. The report exposes widespread abuses of Indigenous Peoples’ human rights brought on by militarism in all its manifestations. Even though the UN charter mentions peace and security, it appears that through the militarization, waged a persistent war against indigenous peoples, which is against the human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in international human rights instruments.
For protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples against militarization we would like to draw your attention on two crucial aspects for considerations:
First, we urge state to execute under the jurisdiction of the civilian court, against the military personnel committing human rights violation and abuses rather than trial in the Military court only. It minimizes the case of human right violations in the protected areas. For instance, in the case of Nepal, life imprisonment by the high court against the perpetrator in the case of murder of Raj Kumar Chepang in Chitawan national park, in 2020. This decision positively contributed to a decrease in the cases of murder and human rights abuses against Indigenous Peoples in the protected areas. Whereas, there was an increasing trend in the past.
Second, developing countries, like Nepal, are receiving support for the security forces and buying arms and ammunition from the developed countries. Buying arms and ammunition is arm trading which is the subject of the UN Guiding Principle on business and human rights. Thus, during the deal agreement, it should be shown commitment by states not to use arms against the Indigenous Peoples, and the due diligence process is followed duly in the case of human rights violations by security forces.
I Thank you Mr. Chair!