Indigenous organizations and key stakeholders pledged to monitor indigenous peoples’ rights in Bangladesh through indigenous navigator tools

The training on ‘Indigenous Navigator framework for local indigenous partner organizations and other stakeholders’ successfully completed in Lalmatia, Dhaka. The representatives of local indigenous partner organizations and other key stakeholders promised to engage themselves in the sustainable development processes in order to assert and fulfill their right to self-determined development.

Emphasizing the transformative Agenda 2030-no one should be left behind, Kapaeeng Foundation and International Labor Organization (ILO) country office for Bangladesh jointly organized a three-day long training under the project titled “Improving indigenous and tribal peoples’ access to justice and development through community-based monitoring” held from 12-14 October 2017 in Bangladesh. Forty participants from sixteen different indigenous communities participated in this training. The main objective of this training was to build up capacities of community representatives so that they can participate in the development monitoring process at local and national level by using indigenous navigator framework. Further, the training initiated for realization of indigenous peoples’ rights, as enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And implement the Navigator frameworks at community levels in order to produce community-based data to assess the implementation and realization of indigenous peoples’ rights at national and local level.

In inaugural session of this training, Mr. Eduard Pesendorfer, Program Manager-Governance of European Union mentioned in his written speech that although Indigenous peoples represent humanity in all its diversity around the globe they are among the most excluded and discriminated, they often threatened and evicted from their territories and lives in poverty. In Bangladesh, five-million indigenous peoples have faced the same situations. EU has strong commitment to endure – the Agenda 2030 and pursue the Sustainable Development through right-based approach among the indigenous communities as per adopted policies. Moreover to protect the indigenous peoples and human rights defenders, especially when they are protecting and promoting the rights of indigenous peoples.

Mr. Sanjeeb Drong, General Secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BIPF) said that ‘Indigenous peoples get an opportunity to measure themselves with the right measurement. Through effective implementation of Navigator framework indigenous peoples could represent their right status in official statistics.’ Ms. Joan Carling, Indigenous Expert and Convener of Indigenous Peoples Major Group for Sustainable Development Goals was the principal facilitator for this training while Mr. Alexius Chicham, National Project Coordinator of the project, ILO country office for Bangladesh and Mr. Pallab Chakma, Executive Director of Kapaeeng Foundation contributed as co-facilitators for this three-day long training sessions. Besides Indigenous Navigator framework participants were oriented about the topics – ILO Convention-107 and 169, Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), etc. Ms. Joan Carling conducted several technical sessions on Indigenous Navigator frameworks and clarified different concepts to the participants.

From this training, fifteen indigenous communities are primarily selected for data-collection process prioritizing their geographic locations and vulnerable situations. After consultation with the participants Kapaeeng Foundation and ILO designed a data collection plan for conducting community consultation and data collection using the Indigenous Navigator tools. Participants and stakeholders from particular regions would involve as facilitators and work as a catalyst to enhance Navigator process.

The motivated and capacitated local indigenous partners and stakeholders could be the vanguard in their own indigenous communities and play a crucial role in effective implementation of the Navigator framework and successful the vision of 2030 agenda- no one should be left behind.