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Welcome to Bangladesh Presentation

Welcome to Bangladesh Presentation

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Welcome to Bangladesh Presentation

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  1. Welcome to Bangladesh Presentation Advocating for Indigenous peoples’ Land Rights In Bangladesh

  2. Introduction Back ground: Bangladesh an independent country in South Asia. Area:144,000 sq km Natural resources:Natural gas, arable land, coal, water resources, forest etc. Population:147 milion Indigenous people about 1.7 milion ( 1.9%) Below poverty line: 45% Land use: arable land: 55.39% Labor force by occupation:agriculture 63%

  3. Introduction Socio- economic, Environment - current issues: • 56% of rural population are landless • Limited access to land for poor, indigenous and women • Water pollution of fishing areas, results from the use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides • Ground water show arsenic contamination due to over extraction/use • Soil degradation and erosion; deforestationare major threat to environment

  4. General information about ALRD ALRD Single focused, Rights Based National Advocacy & Networking Organization Established : 1991 Working area: All over Bangladesh through 250 partners. Vision: Just, discrimination-free, democratic society Mission: Create an enabling environment Partnership: 250 NGOs all over Bangladesh. International alliance/ partnerships: International Land Coalition-ILC, ANGOC, FIAN, SAARC Citizens’ Forum

  5. Major issues at present Some of the major issues for policy engagements of ALRD: • Recognition and implementation of Customary land rights of indigenous people • Peace Accord implementation and land rights of CHT people • Women's equal access to land • Restoration of control of Vested property victims over their properties

  6. Indigenous Communities present status/situation 1.9% of total population About 45 indigenous communities The laws/ Regulations/ Policies: • 1900 Act for CHT • 1997 Peace accord for CHT • Section-97 of the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act-1950 • The ILO Convention 107 ( ratified) • PRSP

  7. Indigenous Communities present status/situation The status of implementation: • Customary rights of IP unrecognised. • [ • Demographic engineering impacted negatively against IP in CHT. • Indigenous un-friendly project intervention by multilateral & Bi-lateral agencies affect IPs • UN conventions like ILO -107 though ratified but not implemented • ILO convention 169 not yet ratified • Positive laws for protection of indigenous peoples rights absent

  8. IPs faced harassments: past & present Past: Both Military and elected governments in past imposed indigenous unfriendly policies • Different governments consecutively followed policies hostile or unfriendly towards IPs. At present : though present interim Govt. has taken positive measures like: • Massive crackdown on corruption • Ensured independence of Judiciary by separating judiciary from the executive • Strengthening Independent Election commission ( continued)

  9. IPs faced harassments: past & present • Strengthening Ind. Anti-Corruption Commission • Committed to uphold human rights and freedom of press and media • Announced the formation of National Human Rights Commission soon • Ratified and signed the UN Convention against Corruption etc. BUT: No positive steps towards framing policies to protect and promote the human and land rights of indigenous people have yet been taken

  10. The 3 case Stories of recent past Case -1. • Members of Indigenous Mro Community: Rape, eviction, physical assault Victims • Date: April 3, 2006 • Spot: Maischori, Khagrachori Bangladesh • Reason: Grabbing Indigenous peoples land • Attacked by: The Bengalee Settlers backed by the local Administration,

  11. The 3 case Stories of recent past Case- 2. • Victim: Rang Lai Mro. in CHT • Date: Feb’07 • Spot: Bandarban of CHT • Reason: He is vocal against grabbing of IPs land • Arrested by the Law enforcing agencies Harassed and put into detention

  12. The 3 case Stories of recent past Case – 3. • Victim : Mr. Chalesh Risil . • Age: 41 years • Date: March 18, 2007 • Spot: Kakraid Army Camp, Modhupur, Tangail • Died in the custody allegedly due to torture

  13. Why such violations happened and where are the Gaps Causes: • Influential people of the majority community are out to grab land (agricultural and forest) traditionally owned by the IPs • Existing power structure and administration work against IPs due to their social links and conservative attitude

  14. Why such violations happened and where are the Gaps Gaps: • Unrecognised customary Rights • Positive laws to protect indigenous land rights absent • Govt., law enforcing agencies’ not pproperly sensitized • Civil-Military, bureaucracy groomed in and work with negative mind set • Lack of political will of mainstream political parties • Insensitized, unaware and misinformed general mass • indigenous unfriendly plantation/ development projects • Demographic engineering and suppression

  15. Challenges • Lack of political will and commitment • Lack of skill and sensitivity among Government officials • Partners/ CBOs lack capacity • Land rights of the indigenous communities remain one of the most neglected issue. • The administration and main stream political parties are indifferent in their attitude towards indigenous people. • Civil and military admins. are over sensitive about free access to information particularly regarding CHT.

  16. Measures to be done At National level: • Work towards attitudinal change of the Government, mainstream political parties, bureaucrats, both civil and military etc. • Positive campaign in media to create public opinion for IPs land rights • Adequate policies towards implementation of ILO,CEDAW, HR Convention etc. and CHT Peace Accord • New laws and constitutional guarantee on IP rights required

  17. Measures to be done At international level: • All international forums like: UN HR Commission, ILo, FAO, ILC should discuss and address the issues related to land and human rights of IPs • All national governments should be required to submit regular reports/ updates on implementation of UN declaration, Conventions, covenants. Those report should be cross checked with feedback from HR organisations NGOs of respective countries • International initiatives through UN agencies required to sensitize every national government, political parties and Army, police about IP rights.

  18. Thank you Shamsul Huda Executive Director Association for Land Reform and Development 10/11, Iqbal Road, Block-A, Mohammadpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh Phone: + 88 -02- 9114660; 8142031 Fax: + 88 -02- 8141810 Email: alrd@agni.com shamsul.huda@yahoo.com