Kapaeeng Foundation organised a two-day community seminar on human rights and indigenous peoples on 08-09 February 2014 in Rangamati, Bangladesh with 25 participants from five indigenous communities.
(Dhaka) – Kapaeeng Foundation (KF) organised a two-day community seminar on human rights and indigenous peoples on 08-09 February 2014 in partnership with the CHT Headmen Network and the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum at the SAS Seminar Room in Rangamati. Twenty-five community-based indigenous peoples human rights defenders (IPHRDs) gained knowledge on their basic human rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, women’s rights, legal aid, and documentation. The participating IPHRDs are part of the IPHRD Network of Bangladesh who came from five indigenous communities- the Chakma, Marma, Pankhoa, Tanchangya, and Tripura. Topics discussed included international and domestic human rights mechanisms, gender issues, legal aid, and documentation.
The community seminar is part of the initiatives of the regional IPHRD Network to strengthen its members on the ground and their national network to be able to work for the respect and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples in their own countries. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) serves as the fundamental reference for discussions on indigenous peoples rights. For some of the participating IPHRDs, the seminar was a refresher course while it was absolutely new for most.
A very important session of the community seminar was sharing best practices regarding strategies on human rights protection and promotion by the participating IPHRDs. Participant Sharat Jyoti Chakma, convener of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, Chittagong Region, shared his experience as part of KF’s on-site enquiry team on a rape case against an indigenous girl child in a village in Mirsarai areas of Chittagong. He explained how they addressed the enormous challenges they faced during collection of data and consequently organized a press conference in order to inform the media about the incident and the bigger picture that allows impunity to reign in indigenous territories. Popen Tripura, a journalist also shared his worst experience with government officials while collecting data related to the killing of an indigenous person in the Khagrachari district.
KF continues to build the capacity of IPHRDs in Bangladesh through trainings in human rights documentation and advocacy as part of the IPHRD Network for the promotion and protection of the human rights of indigenous peoples in Asia.Source: Kapaeeng Foundation