Survival under Threat: Human Rights Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh

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The publication of this report has come at a time when the Indigenous peoples of Bangladesh are facing increasing challenges to the enjoyment of their human rights including the continuing denial of their existence by the Government of Bangladesh.

It also comes at a time when instead of advancing the implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts [CHT] Accord, several parties seem to be bent on railroading its substantive implementation. Violence against Indigenous women continues to plague women who are going about their daily chores and girls who are attending schools. There is increased communal violence which has reached an alarming stage. Even the Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission members and staff were attacked twice, once on an official fact-finding mission, and another on a private visit to the CHT by a so-called nationalist group. The impunity that reigns in the CHT is matched by the neglect that is faced by the plain lands Indigenous peoples. Plain lands Indigenous peoples have been so neglected and discriminated that their minoritization and rapid loss of their territories is so alarming.

They also do not enjoy any affirmative action from the government except that which is accorded by the Special Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Office. With the support of the European Union through its European Instrument for Human Rights and Democracy [EIDHR], the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) implemented the Project “Strengthening the Network of Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Asia” in eight countries including Bangladesh for the period September 2011 – August 2014.

Technical support was provided by Kapaeeng Foundation, a member of AIPP. This report is one of the outputs from this project. We hope this report will shed more light to the alarming condition of Indigenous peoples in Bangladesh, and contribute to generating more attention and concern for the respect, promotion and protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples in Bangladesh and beyond.

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