Legal prohibition on cow-slaughter in Nepal infringes indigenous peoples’ rights, UN experts told

Two Nepali non-governmental organizations have submitted an urgent communication to UN rights experts informing that legal prohibition on cow-slaughter in Nepal infringes indigenous peoples’ right to freedom of religion and cultural rights and threatens the secularity of the Nepali state.

Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples and National Coalition Against Racial Discrimination sent in the joint communication on Friday to four UN Special Rapporteurs on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression the Field of Cultural Rights, and the Freedom of Religion or Belief.

“The communication is submitted to raise the issue of the continued prosecution of indigenous peoples under Nepal’s law against cow-slaughter—a law deeply rooted and wholly justified by Hindu (and therefore non-secular principles) and one which historically has been used to carry out the State’s forced cultural assimilation of indigenous peoples and to forge a homogenous identity for Nepali citizens,” the NGOs write.

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Philippines: Bangsamoro, Indigenous Peoples Of Mindanao To Re-Affirm Kinship Relations

Apipa P. Bagumbaran, 2012

A ritual to re-affirm the kinship between the Bangsamoro and the indigenous peoples (IPs) of Mindanao is slated to be held at the Talaandig Ancestral Territory in Sungko, Lantapan town, Bukidnon province on March 7 and 8.

The ceremony on the re-affirmation of kinship among the non-Islamized natives and the Bangsamoro of Mindanao is designed to help facilitate the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). More

World Council of Churches (WCC) Statement On The Doctrine Of Discovery And Its Enduring Impact On Indigenous Peoples

WCC Executive Committee
14-17 February 2012
Bossey, Switzerland

1. Indigenous Peoples have the oldest living cultures in the world. Three hundred to five hundred million Indigenous Peoples today live in over 72 countries around the world, and they comprise at least 5,000 distinct peoples. The ways of life, identities, well-being and very existence of Indigenous People are threatened by the continuing effects of colonization and national policies, regulations and laws that attempt to force them to assimilate into the cultures of majoritarian societies. A fundamental historical basis and legal precedent for these policies and laws is the “Doctrine of Discovery”, the idea that Christians enjoy a moral and legal right based solely on their religious identity to invade and seize indigenous lands and to dominate Indigenous Peoples. 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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