UNPFII17: Statement of AIPP and Asia Caucus in the Regional Dialogue with States, NHRIs, UN entities on 24 April 2018
17th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII17)
Regional Dialogue, 24 April 2018
Statement of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact and Asia Indigenous Caucus
Delivered by: Gam Shimray, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact
We would like to draw the attention of the members of the UNPFII concerning a long-standing concern of intimidation and reprisals against individuals or groups cooperating with the United Nations on human rights.
We are concerned that there is an increase in number and severity of reprisals and intimidation against indigenous human rights defenders in Asia region. For example, the charge against 600 human right defenders and leaders as terrorists, including the present UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and the former Secretary General of AIPP and former member of the UNPFII, by the government of the Philippines.
We would like to point out that it is not the first time that members of the Executive Council of AIPP are being framed and falsely charged. The first Secretary General of AIPP, Mr. Luingam Luithui, was also made a stateless person by impounding his passport without any notification in 1995 while he was in a foreign country. Similarly, several indigenous human rights defenders are facing threats and harassments, introduction of restrictive legislation, physical attacks, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and ill-treatment, and even killings.
Given that the United Nations rely on the cooperation of the people they serve and that the freedom to engage with the UN is a basic exercise of fundamental freedoms and human rights of all, AIPP recommends the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII:
- To request the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Assistant Secretary General for human rights to undertake survey of the indigenous participants to the 17th Session of the UNPFII regarding experiences of acts of intimidation and reprisals and provide report to the 18th Session of the UNPFII.
- To request the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Assistant Secretary General for human rights to expand and strengthen the UN’s response to reprisals and threats faced by indigenous human rights and environmental defenders by enhancing high-level engagement on reprisals, including on how to prevent reprisals from occurring and ensuring appropriate action on urgent cases when reprisals occur.
- To take the initiative with UN DESA and the Inter-Agency Support Group to issue a statement condemning the systematic attacks and criminalization of indigenous human rights and environmental defenders around the world.
Thank you very much for your patience and cooperation.
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