Augustina Chakma’s proposals to address militarization and human rights violations in CHT in EMRIP

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Hill Voice, 21 July 2023, International Desk: Representative of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) Augustina Chakma, while presenting her statement on 4th day of the 16th session of UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples held in Geneva of Switzerland, proposed 6 urgent actions to address the militarization and human rights violations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh, which continue to inflict immense suffering on indigenous peoples.

PCJSS representative Augustina Chakma said these while presenting her statement on Agenda Item 13: Proposals to be submitted to the Human Rights Council for its consideration and approval (open) in the 4th day’s meeting of 16th Session of EMRIP held in Geneva on 20 July 2023.

This 16th Session of the UNEMRIP started on 17 July and will be ended on 21st July.

The principal text of Augustina Chakma’s statement is as follow:

“Today, I propose urgent actions to address the militarization and human rights violations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh, which continue to inflict immense suffering on indigenous peoples.

I urge the Human Rights Council to:

1. Initiate an impartial investigation into the human rights violations in the CHT, focusing on the role of the military and armed groups. This investigation should involve gathering evidence, interviewing victims and witnesses, and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.

2. Establish an independent monitoring mechanism with indigenous participation to ensure the implementation of the CHT Accord.

3. Facilitate inclusive dialogue among the government, military, and indigenous representatives to find peaceful solutions and address the root causes of the conflict. It should also involve the meaningful participation of women and youth from indigenous communities.

4. Provide support and resources to help indigenous communities rebuild their lives and regain their traditional lands.

5. Strengthen capacity-building and human rights education for the military, emphasizing human rights training and awareness, with a specific focus on respecting and protecting indigenous peoples rights.

6. Engage regional and international actors to raise awareness and garner support for the protection of indigenous rights in the CHT. This should include advocating for international pressure on the government of Bangladesh to fulfill its commitments under the CHT Accord and respect the rights of indigenous peoples

With these measures, we can address the urgent human rights crisis in the CHT and work towards justice for indigenous communities.”