UN Committee expresses concern about violence against Karen people in Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan National Park

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    GENEVA – UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination has expressed concern regarding forceful eviction and harassment of Karen indigenous people from Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan National Park and requested the government to provide information on their situation in the park.

    The Committee sent a letter sent to the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the UN on 9 March 2012 in response to the information submitted by a non-governmental organization.

    According to the information, the Committee writes, an increasing level of violence has been committed against the Karen people by the Thai National Park and Forestry Authorities despite existing laws protecting the rights of the Karen people to live in national parks and other forest areas. They point out that laws such as the Thai Cabinet Resolution of 3rd August 2010 (on the restoration of traditional practices and livelihoods of Karen people) categorically provide them with the right to remain in ancestral lands and practise traditional agricultural rotation.

    The Committee is further concerned that the reported continuous and escalating violence may have been linked to the murder of Karen human rights defender Mr Tatkamol Ob-om on 10 September 2011. He filed a petition to the Thai National Human Rights Commission on behalf of Karen people and was subsequently shot dead by unidentified gunmen.

    The Committee requests the Thai government to provide information regarding the situation of the indigenous peoples in the national park and the measures taken to improve their situation by 31 July 2012.

    Click here to see the full letter.

    Source: Indigenous Issues in Asia