Joint intervention of CPA, BAI, APIYN, CRAM, CHCRM and the UN, IPMSDL, and Land is Life, Bhaiya Ram Munda Foundation on Human Rights: Implementation of the UNDRIP during the 14th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Fourteenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
20 April – 1 May 2015, UN Headquarters, New York City
Agenda 7 (c) Human Rights: Implementation of the UNDRIP
Presented by: Sarah Dekdeken, Cordillera Peoples Alliance
Thank you madame Chair. Good morning everyone! This is a joint statement of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance, BAI national alliance of indigenous women in the Philippines, Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network, Centre for Research and Advocacy – Manipur, Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the UN, Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation, and Land is Life. Bhaiya Ram Munda Foundation, Jhrakhand. India
Subjecting indigenous peoples to extreme forms of human rights violations and violation of our right to self determination constitute a direct violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous communities specifically in the Cordillera, Philippines and Manipur, Jharkhand, India continue to be afflicted with human rights violations of our right to self determination by our respective governments. Despite being signatories to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, our governments are implementing State laws and policies that are inconsistent with the Declaration, thereby worsening the non-recognition and lack of respect to our inherent right as Indigenous Peoples.
In the Philippines, the implementation of the State counter-insurgency policy Operation Plan Bayanihan worsens the current militarization of our communities, political repression and vilification of indigenous activists and organizations, extrajudicial killings and other forms of human rights violations, with impunity. One indigenous human rights defender and leader is extrajudicially killed every month since Benigno Aquino III assumed Presidency in 2010. Justice has not been served to any of these cases. Early this year (2015), more leaders and members of the Ifugao Peasant Movement in the Cordillera are facing threats through political vilification and harassment, which may lead to more cases of extrajudicial killings.
In Manipur, the imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) and other emergency security legislations has blatantly violated non-derogable rights, primarily the “Right to Life” as provided for by article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Instead of respecting indigenous peoples’ prolonged call for the repeal of this law, the government of India resorted to further promulgation of the controversial piece of legislations in the Arunachal Pradesh, by an order dated 27 March 2015.
We also continue to suffer from countless violations of our collective human rights over our lands, territories and resources, and to our right to self determination due to worsening development aggression. Governments and corporations pursue large infrastructure projects, corporate mining, mega-dams and other energy projects without respecting indigenous peoples’ rights as enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international declarations and agreements.
In the Cordillera, more than 66% of our total land area remains covered with various applications for mining and energy projects, often approved in violation of our right to free, prior and informed consent. Chevron pursues its geothermal energy projects in the Cordillera, Philippines despite the affected communities’ non-consent to the project. The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) of the Philippines continues to manipulate the Free Prior and Informed Consent process in its projects in the region, including the Freeport McMoran Makilala mining project in Kalinga province. More mining and energy projects will only lead to our ethnocide.
The pursuance of India’s Look East Policy, infrastructure developments by Asian Development Bank and the World Bank for trade facilitation also led to forced conscription of indigenous peoples land. This policy only strengthens Indian corporate control over the markets in Southeast Asia.
In this light, we reiterate the following recommendations to the Permanent Forum:
- Urge the Philippine and Indian governments for the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples through a clear national program formulated with our full ad effective participation. Such national program should respect indigenous people’s right to self-determination and to Free Prior and Informed Consent; recognize our inherent rights to development that address the particular needs, situation and aspirations of Indigenous Peoples. Any forced and arbitrary development goes against the principles of rights and sustainability.
- Call on the governments of the Philippines and India to review State laws and policies, and repeal those that are inconsistent with the Declaration such as the Philippine Mining Act and the Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act, including Operation Plan Bayanihan and the 1958 Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
- Support the call of Indigenous Peoples to stop the involvement of state military and police forces in the implementation and operation of development projects; and stop using state security forces to protect the interest of large-scale extractive industries.
*(The above mentioned organizations are partner and member organizations of IPMSDL)