CAMBODIA: Conservation Helps Secure Land Rights In Cambodia

Published on Friday, 16 March 2012

A vulnerable ethic minority village inside Cambodia’s remote Seima Protection Forest today became one of the first in Cambodia to receive a collective land title, which will help villagers fend off threats to their land and culture while also strengthening conservation goals.

The Senior Minister for Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, H.E. Im Chhun Lim, visited the ethnically Bunong village of Andoung Kraloeng village to mark this historic moment. The legal system has been piloted in three villages – the first two received titles last December, but the third is the only one in a protected forest and so sets crucial precedents for similar villages.

It has taken eight years for these first villages to receive their titles, but with the system now in place the rate of issuance is now expected to rise. Hundreds of other villages are eligible and many have begun the application process, including 12 in and around the Seima area. Eventually it is hoped to offer this opportunity to all interested villages around the reserve. More

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ALRC and IMADR highlight concerns for minority rights in Pakistan, Indonesia and Nepal

A Joint Oral Statement to the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council from the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) and the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organization in general consultative status

Thank you Madam President,

The ALRC and IMADR warmly welcome the Independent Expert’s first report, including the focus on the double discrimination faced by minority women. More

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL HOLDS PANEL DISCUSSION TO COMMEMORATE THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF MINORITIES

13 March 2012

The Human Rights Council at a midday meeting today held a panel discussion to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

Kyung-wha Kang, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, opening the panel discussion, said that the violation of minority rights constituted a wide-scale problem, which affected all regions of the world with multiple manifestations ranging from attacks on religious minorities to the systematic exclusion of minorities from decision making in economic and public life. It had contributed to statelessness and other serious human rights challenges around the world. The protection of minority rights was a key factor in the prevention of conflicts and atrocities as well as in peace-building.  More

NEPAL: The final countdown in Nepal

March 6, 2012

PRASHANT JHA

Political parties have less than three months to resolve three issues — integration of Maoist combatants, form of government, federalism — that will shape state structure for years to come.

Five years after a peace accord marked the end of a decade long civil war, Nepal’s political transformation has entered its final phase.

On May 27, 2012, the term of the Constituent Assembly — extended four times beyond its original two-year term — will expire. And this time, politicians will not find it easy to give the CA another lease of life due to a judicial stricture. The Supreme Court (SC) has declared that the current extension is final, and if the constitution is not promulgated, there should be another election or referendum. There is also rising popular pressure to wrap up the prolonged transition, which has been accompanied by abysmal service delivery.

That gives the political forces less than three months to wrap up the peace process and write a constitution. Together, this will shape the nature of Nepal’s political institutions and security apparatus. More

Lao PDR: Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considers report of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
29 February 2012

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today considered the combined sixteenth to eighteenth periodic reports of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on how that country is implementing the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Introducing the report, Chaleun Yiapaoheu, Head of the Lao Delegation, Minister of Justice and Chairman of the National Committee on Reporting under the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, said 49 ethnic groups lived in Lao People’s Democratic Republic in peace and harmony, all equal under the Constitution. The Criminal Code now listed discrimination based on ethnicity as an offence. The National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy focused on rural development, reduction of economic gaps and relocation of people from remote areas to new villages. The Land Titling Project had produced tangible results that ensured all Lao persons had the right to own land. Equal employment opportunities for all ethnic groups were ensured, and people from smaller ethnic groups were given priority for jobs in most major development projects. Following anthropological research on ethnic groups in the country, the Government found that allegations of maltreatment and discrimination against the Hmong ethnic group were groundless, and aimed at destroying the good image and continued efforts by the Government to cooperate with the international community in the promotion and protection of human rights. More

LAO PDR: Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination discusses Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Italy with NGOs

Committee on the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination

27 February 2012

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this morning held an interactive dialogue with non-governmental organizations from Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Italy. The reports of those two countries will be reviewed by the Committee this week.

Representatives of non-governmental organizations in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic raised a number of issues concerning the situation of indigenous minorities, saying that the Hmong population faced systematic violence and discrimination by the Lao Government. Deforestation was affecting the rights of indigenous people. Ethnic minorities were often subjected to forced displacement. Young girls and women faced a high risk of sexual trafficking. More

VIETNAM: Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination discusses situation in Viet Nam and Canada with non-governmental organizations

20 February 2012

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this morning held an interactive dialogue with non-governmental organizations from Viet Nam and Canada. The reports of those two countries will be reviewed by the Committee this week.

Representatives of non-governmental organizations in Viet Nam raised a number of issues concerning discrimination against the Montagnard Degar people in Viet Nam including arbitrary detention for men, forced sterilization among women, land confiscation without compensation and the unlawful imprisonment of 400 individuals for their Christian faith and exercising their right to peaceful assembly. Speakers also noted the racial discrimination against the Khmer Krom indigenous people in the Mekong Delta of Viet Nam whose ancestral lands were confiscated by the Government and whose religious freedom was denied on the grounds that these minorities were a threat to society. More

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