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ASEAN Human Rights Declaration Draft Ignores Rights of Indigenous Peoples

By Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact and Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia  •  June 19, 2012

Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) express deep regret that there was no specific reference concerning the collective rights of the Indigenous Peoples as enshrined in the UNDRIP in the drafting of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) draft during the national consultation held at Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations in Kuala Lumpur on June 12, 2012.

JOAS representative to the meeting was surprised to learn that Indigenous Peoples issues had been removed from the latest draft. The organizing chairman told her that there was no update on Indigenous Peoples whose issues have now been placed under general and specific context which include women, children and marginalized groups. JOAS representative’s request for some information about the contents of the draft was only met with a reply “Sorry nothing specific on Indigenous Peoples.”

The representative also regretfully learned that copies of the draft declaration were not handed out to participants following instructions from the ‘top’ to the organizer.

JOAS representative however managed to read and hand in the submission of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force on ASEAN and AIPP to the Drafting of the of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. It was the second time the document was submitted. The first time was by an AIPP representative in a similar forum in Bangkok.

AIPP and JOAS, that represent Indigenous Peoples in Asia and Malaysia respectively, also express deep disappointment with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Committee on Human Rights (AICHR) for rejecting the parties’ request to participate in the regional consultation on June 22, 2012 to be held in Kuala Lumpur. While ASEAN is claiming cultural diversity in the ASEAN countries, it continues to disregard and refuse to recognize the existence of Indigenous Peoples and their collective rights. It will be a shame and definitely will be below international human rights standards if the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration fails to include the recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Both parties demand that the AHRD must have a reference to the UNDRIP or at least some provisions that respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Anything less would only place the declaration below international human rights standards.

For further inquries, contact AIPP ( aippmail@aippnet.org) or JOAS ( joasmalaysia@gmail.com)

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This post is in: ASEAN, Press Release

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