UNPO announces European Parliament conference on minorities/indigenous peoples in South-East Asia

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - BRUSSELS, Belgium - May 10, 2016 - Despite South East Asia being a conglomerate of myriads of distinct ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic groups, minorities and indigenous peoples remain the region’s most vulnerable communities. Often seen as a threat to social cohesion, members of these groups are routinely being denied their fundamental human rights, while left with little opportunity for redress. On top of that, many of the region’s governments deliberately exclude these populations from decision-making processes and fail to uphold their basic rights to food and health care.

The economic situation of minority and indigenous groups is likewise critical, with their lands encroached by mining, logging, dam constructions and similar large-scale “development” projects. Concomitant mass displacements and the destruction of ancestral homelands further endanger the very existence of these groups. With regards to religious freedom, minority and indigenous groups are targets of systematic discrimination, often in the form of enforced religious assimilation. Despite some timid advances in recent decades to establish human rights mechanisms that would counter these worrying developments in the region, implementation and enforcement are still in their infancy.

Against this background, this conference will raise awareness for issues associated with minority and indigenous rights in South East Asia, in particular by assessing recent developments and policies towards indigenous peoples in Taiwan, and comparing the path chosen by Taipei with other Asian cases, while keeping in mind the different European mechanisms dealing with the protection of minorities. The event will bring together expertise from academics, policy-makers, human rights activists, and representatives of various ethnic, religious and linguistic groups and indigenous communities in South East Asia.

Register by filling in this form by Tuesday 7 June 2016 (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1l-fV1u1wjMmxAlzSZ92a6zek…).

For further information please contact Tommaso Nodari (t.nodari@unpo.org)

For media enquiries please contact Johanna Green (j.green@unpo.org)

Source : Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization

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