Toni Chiran speaks on Item 5(d) at UN Permanent Forum


Hill Voice, 24 April 2024, International Desk: Representative of Bangladesh Indigenous Youth Forum, Toni Chiran, spoke on agenda “Item 5(d): Human rights dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; annual review of progress on the implementation of general recommendation No. 39” at 23rd session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) on Monday (22 April).

In his statement, Toni Chiran said that Indigenous peoples of Bangladesh are regular victim of human rights violations. Very often indigenous peoples are being evicted from their ancestral land in the name of development acquisition, tourism industries, rubber industries and very recently border road project in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and plain land district.

Traditional lands are often taken away without consent of indigenous peoples. The land grabbing scenery of indigenous peoples in Bangladesh miserably depressing. Recently indigenous peoples are threatened by the state agencies to be evicted from their ancestral land in Modhupur, Tangail, plain land of Bangladesh.

Following a gazette of notification by the government declaring 9,145 acres of core indigenous land and territories as Reserve forest and so-called eco-tourism project without taking any free prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples’ lands are illegally grabbed by the state agencies for the tourism complex and rest house construction in plain land and CHT for the project of sustainable life, sustainable forest and livelihood project and sufal project.

Besides tea companies and other state agencies are forcefully occupying indigenous peoples’ land in greater Sylhet region and Dinajpur of Bangladesh.

Human rights defenders are threatened to be criminalize, false case, arbitrary arrest and detention due to active voice against violations and injustice. So, the situations are much more vulnerable. In this case due to the land related conflict, indigenous women and adolescence girls are targeted, sexually harassed, raped, killed for any kind of incident happens in Bangladesh.

He protested against this gross human rights violations and demand justice. So, in this context, he urged UN Permanent Forum on indigenous peoples to highlight the following recommendations:

Toni Chiran urged Bangladesh Government to stop all human rights violations against women and so-called development project, such as, eco-tourism, eco-park, reserve forest, military camp on indigenous peoples’ land and territory without the consent of indigenous peoples; and to create separate Land Commission for plain land’s indigenous peoples and took guarantee the full implementation of CHT Accord.

He also urged UN bodies to conduct country visit to assess the actual ground situation and provide recommendations to member state.

Lastly, Toni Chiran recommended for a framework and mechanism to guarantee all these rights.