Friday, May 16, 2014

Global Indigenous Women's Caucus Statement: Discussion on Asia

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Thirteenth Session, May 12—23, 2014 Global Indigenous Women's Caucus Statement Agenda Item 5 Half Day Discussion on Asia

Madame Chair, Members of the Permanent Forum, Sisters and Brothers, we, the Global Indigenous Women's Caucus, submit the  following statement for your consideration:

In Asia, there are Indigenous Sisters and Brothers who are not recognized as Indigenous Peoples in their countries of origin and/or live in countries that are not recognized as countries by the international society.  The failure to recognize some Indigenous Peoples in Asia, along with difficult international and national political issues, contributes to a situation where the UN system cannot effectively protect their rights. This exclusion from the protection of the international human rights system operates as a form of discrimination against these Peoples.

In some places in Asia, human rights education is expressly forbidden. Even in places where not expressly forbidden, it is seldom taught in the mainstream school systems. Therefore many Indigenous Peoples, especially Indigenous women, do not know their rights and consequently, when their rights are violated, they are not able to defend themselves.

Indigenous women living in urban environments in Asia are continuously challenged by issues that are rooted in patriarchy. This patriarchal system can erode the diverse gender relations of Indigenous traditions, causing additional burdens on Indigenous women which negatively impact family relationships.

Global climate change is causing an increase in typhoons, earthquakes, floods, mudslides and natural disasters in Asia and around the world.  As these events become more commonplace, Indigenous peoples, especially women and children are more vulnerable than ever.
Reconstruction processes of living areas, in the wake of natural disasters, are often Government resources and services that reflect and respond to the cultural needs of Indigenous peoples are often not available to Indigenous women in urban areas.
done without the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples. Traditional knowledge is overlooked and therefore without the understanding of what the needs and wishes are of Indigenous Peoples. Consequently Indigenous peoples are often twice traumatized by natural disasters.


The Global Indigenous Women's Caucus adopted the following recommendations for agenda item 5, at the May 9, 2014, Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus meeting:

1.    Unrecognized Indigenous Peoples­­We recommend that the relevant UN agencies, including the Human Rights Council, the Permanent Forum, the Expert Mechanism and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples investigate and monitor the situation

and condition of the unrecognized Indigenous Peoples, in particular Indigenous women, to work toward ensuring that the rights of these unrecognized Indigenous Peoples are protected and that Indigenous women are better able to make free, prior and informed decisions concerning their well being.

2.  Human rights education­­We recommend that the UN Permanent Forum work with states to ensure that human rights education is incorporated into the mainstream education system to ensure Indigenous Peoples have the knowledge of human rights and understand such rights.

3.  Indigenous women in urban areas­­In accordance with the Report of the International Expert Group Meeting on Urban Indigenous Peoples and Migration, Paragraphs 9 and 17, we take note and echo the need for a comprehensive analysis that will produce systematic data which would allow for monitoring of the inflow of Indigenous Peoples into urban areas.  This analysis should include comprehensive data on urban Indigenous women’s labor, health, and
education status, so that the real situation of urban Indigenous women can be revealed, and thus clear ethnicity and gender­friendly policies can be planned.

4.  Post­disaster reconstruction policy making­­We recommend the Permanent Forum urge states to include Indigenous Peoples and in particular, Indigenous Women, in the process of the post­disaster reconstruction policy making in accordance with section 2 Article 11 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We thank you Madame Chair for your full consideration of these recommendations.