ABSENCE OF INDIGENOUS AND TRIBAL PEOPLES’ RIGHTS IN THE DRAFT OF THE ASEAN HUMAN RIGHTS DECLARATION IS AN ABJECT FAILURE TO FULFIL COMMITMENTS TO INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS AND DEMOCRACY – Joint statement of Centre for Organisation Research and Education, Forum for Indigenous Perspectives & Action & Indigenous Peoples Forum (India)

ABSENCE OF INDIGENOUS AND TRIBAL PEOPLES’S RIGHTS IN THE DRAFT OF
THE ASEAN HUMAN RIGHTS DECLARATION IS AN ABJECT FAILURE TO FULFIL COMMITMENTS TO INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS AND DEMOCRACY
 

August, 2012 

JOINT STATEMENT

Centre for Organisation Research and Education, Forum for Indigenous Perspectives & Action & Indigenous Peoples Forum (India)

On the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2012, the Centre for Organisation Research & Education (CORE), Forum for Indigenous Perspectives and Action (FIPA) and Indigenous Peoples’ Forum (IPF) of Manipur in the North Eastern Territories of India express profound disappointment on the reported denial of meaningful participation and lack of reference to the collective rights of indigenous peoples as enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in the drafting of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) as reliably learnt during the national consultation held at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations in Kuala Lumpur on June 12, 2012.

We are also astonished at the pointless cloak of secrecy, the absence of accountability in the whole processes of the drafting and the indifference of the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) towards the rights and issues of the many threatened indigenous peoples and communities of the region. Further, we express deep unhappiness over the attitude and unethical behaviour shown by AICHR towards representatives of indigenous peoples’ organisations Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) respectively with regard to denial of their requests for information and also to participate in the regional consultation on June 22, 2012 in Kuala Lumpur. Such denials constitute a gross muzzling of the freedom of expression, and violation of the rights to information and participation of indigenous peoples. This is also a grave violation of the statutes of the ASEAN Charter, and commitments of the nations of this region to the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Knowing full well that any regional human rights law, declaration or standard cannot fall below the minimum international standards established by the United Nations that accord the universally accepted respect, recognition and commitment for the rights of indigenous peoples, the conspicuous absence of indigenous peoples’ rights enshrined in the UNDRIP in the draft of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) and denial of indigenous peoples access to information and participation in matters that concerns their rights is in fact a violation of the very principles of human rights and objectives of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The very essence of democracy has been seriously undermined and the governments of the South East Asian Region are in danger of shaming themselves in front of the entire world.

We declare our solidarity to the cry for justice and inclusivity as given out by our fellow indigenous peoples’ organisation in Asia and strongly recommend that the member states of the South East Asia Region consider the appropriate inclusion of a reference to the UNDRIP in its preamble and fully commit to uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD).

Signed at Imphal on 9 August 2012

 

D Roy Laifungbam                  Wangkheirakpam Ramananda                        Makulim Remei

CORE                                           FIPA                                                                          IPF

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