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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Mr. Manjuni Chakma Intern from Kapaeeng Foundation, Bangladesh

My name is Manjuni Chakma and I belong to Chakma Indigenous people from Chittagong Hill Tract, Bangladesh. I have been working in Kapaeeng Foundation (KF) as a Project officer since 2013. It is an Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights Organization in Bangladesh, established on 1 April 2004. I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Bangalore University, India, and Master of Social Science in Sociology from Dhaka International University.

I recently completed an Internship at Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) secretariat in Chiang Mai which was from May 23 to November 23, 2019. I gained many experiences which really inspired and motivated me to work for the Indigenous People and their rights. Furthermore, this opportunity allowed me to delve into the intricacy and perplexity of human rights and enhanced my knowledge on the Indigenous Peoples of Asia and their issues, International Human Rights Instruments and Mechanism along with honing my skill in writing statements, project implementation and systematic documentation. Overall, this Internship strengthened my capacity and skills while contributing and supporting to the work of AIPP Secretariat and Programs. 

After successfully completing my Internship at AIPP, I have returned to the Kapaeeng Foundation as a Project Officer overlooking the ‘Navigator Project’, a framework and a set of tools for and by Indigenous Peoples to systematically monitor the level of recognition and implementation of their rights. Besides that, I also undertake many tasks which involve dialogue and programs with Indigenous Youth and Students Organizations, Human Rights Activists, Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders, National Human Rights Organizations, Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights Council etc.  I have already implemented a project titled, “Media Fellowship”, jointly with AIPP for the journalists in Bangladesh.

I am efficiently applying my knowledge and skills at Kapaeeng Foundation which I gained from the internship program in establishing solidarity and networks with the grassroot level human rights defenders and organizations. Besides that, I have contributed in  preparation of  report for the Citizen’s Platform for SDGs adding to the Voluntary National Review (VNR) country report of Bangladesh which will be presented in the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) at New York in July 2020 by the Government of Bangladesh.

Apart from that, I have been representing KF at different platforms including local, national, and international levels where my knowledge and experiences from the Internship were valuable. On the other hand, I actively take initiatives on many tasks such as-coordination, follow up, developing concept note, preparation of reports etc. The things that I learnt from the internship really helped and inspired me to be engaged in the work of the rights indigenous peoples and human rights.