United Nations Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum, Asia-Pacific
Side Session | 6 June
Commitments to Actions for the Recognization Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)
The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (UNWG)
Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP)
Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Organization (CIPO)
Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand (IWNT)
The initiative of the 2023 United Nations Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum, Asia – Pacific provides us with a good avenue to reflect upon, to move forward from commitment to action by ensuring the strengthening States duty to protect, the corporate responsibility to respect and access to remedy and human rights for all.
Asia have progressed in the implementation of the UNGPs, but the context of the Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders have not only changed but the situation is getting worse. NAPs have been adopted in few countries like Thailand, Pakistan, Japan and other countries are in the process of adopting one. The process of adoption of NAPs have also been questioned by many, not only about the process of consultation and what was actually adopted but also the implementation of the NAP in itself. Many view binding treaty to be able to address some of the key issues, but that remains to be debated.
In Asia, since 2010, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) has been observing human rights situations and the trend of human rights violations of Indigenous Peoples. The Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of Asia are high up on the list of targets and victims of human rights violations including due to militarization, conservations, and tourism projects. In the name of conservations, tourism, and development projects are often designed and implemented without respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the right to self-determination; lands, territories, and resources; free prior and informed consent (FPIC); as well as economic, social and cultural rights. The incidents of killings, forced displacement, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and detention, intimidation, persecution, and violence against IPs, Indigenous women, and human rights defenders are increasing every day. Moreover, the pervasive lack of legal formalization, recognition, protection, enforcement, and monitoring of customary tenure rights and legal protections of Indigenous identity underpins the majority of risks Indigenous Peoples face linked to invasive, colonial, and neo-liberalized conservation activities.
Among the root causes, militarization, tourism, development, and conservation projects have incited criminalization and attacks on IPs and violated the rights to Free, Prior, Informed, and Consent (FPIC) processes of IPs in Asia. For examples are the military coup in Myanmar, the five-star Marriott Hotel construction plan over the Mro Indigenous Peoples’ land in CHT, Sustainable Forests and Livelihood (SUFAL) project targeted at Khasi and Garo areas and the government’s planning to set up the country’s largest export processing zone on Santal people’s Bagda farmland of plain land in Bangladesh; Hydro power and transmission line projects financed by Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank in Tanahun, Lamjung, Nawalparasi and Kathmandu districts in Nepal; continuing road constructions and mining in India, RM3 Billion 100kvA Papar Dam project would destroy the way of life of more than 3,000 villagers and 1000MW hydropower generation plant in Liwagu river construction plan over the Dusun Indigenous Communities in Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia, threats from proposed rare earth mining in Semai Tribe, etc; the Build Build Build program in the Philippines, non-recogniton of IPs rights related to forest, land, territories and resources in amendments to the Protected Area Law and Forestry Laws in Cambodia. And, in Thailand, the World Heritage Committee’s dangerous precedent on the declaration of Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (KKFC) by disregarding severe cases of reported human rights violations and the history of the Karen people, the Chaoley Indigenous Community, the original peoples of the sea, are facing serious difficulties linked to tourism development and declaration of marine national parks, etc.
About the session
Session will discuss and share insights on the specific issues faced by Indigenous Peoples particularly in the context of business and human rights from Cambodia, Nepal, and Thailand particularly focussing on the issue of Free, Prior and informed consent. The session will address cross cutting issues, particularly Indigenous Women, Indiggenous Youths and persons with disabilities.
The Session proposed to be held on 6 June 2023, co-organized by IPHRD member from Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (UNWG).
The main objectives of this session are to:
To raise the situation of the implementation of UNGPs in the region, including capacity building, FPIC in the region
To discuss and sharing the case testimonies of BHR on Indigenous Peoples in Asia, countries of Cambodia, Nepal, and Thailand.
Sharing lessons learned, gaps, and good practices in the contexts of Indigenous Peoples rights holders.
Panelists will reflect on the following questions:
What is the situation of the implementation of UNGPs, particularly the issue of Free, Prior, Informed and Consent to Indigenous Peoples?
How business operations are impacting to the life of Indigenous Peoples land, territories and resources and how IPHRDs are engaging in these negotiations and good practices thereoff?
Any challenges faced by the Indigenous Women, Youths and person with disabilities in relation to the violation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples?
How rights of Indigenous Peoples to their land and territories translated from the UDHR75 commitments to actions?
What collaboration and network can contribute to ensure the rights of Indigenous Peoples will secure and recognize?
How you can demonstrate the good practices and to recommends the forum of strengthening of implementation of UNGPs?