Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 09:50 GMT

Bangladesh to hold indigenous people's forum

Publisher Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)
Publication Date 5 August 2011
Cite as Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), Bangladesh to hold indigenous people's forum, 5 August 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e40e2672.html [accessed 23 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Representatives from more than 45 indigenous groups in Bangladesh will gather in Dhaka on 6-7 August for the country's first national forum on indigenous people.

"The issue of land for indigenous people is not just a matter of livelihood, security and economic well-being, it is deeply rooted in the culture and heritage of IP [indigeonous people's] communities," Chakma Raja Devashish Roy, an Asian representative of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), told IRIN.

"This conference aims to deliver clear guidelines to policymakers which could be instrumental in underpinning a historical direction for a more tolerant and democratic Bangladesh," said Sanjeeb Drong, generel secretary of the Bangladesh Indigenous People's Forum and one of the conference organizers.

According to Bangladesh's now disputed 2011 census, of the country's more than 142 million inhabitants, just 1.2 percent are described as indigenous, the largest of them being the Chakmas, Santals and Marma peoples. The two-day meeting will focus on land loss issues, with the aim of raising awareness of the problem, as well as putting pressure on lawmakers to act.

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