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MRG urges UN members to address indigenous peoples’ situation in Bangladesh during 4th Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

30 October 2023

Minority Rights Group International (MRG), The South Asia Collective and Nagorik Uddyog Citizen’s Initiative call on UN member states to use the opportunity of the 4th Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Bangladesh, scheduled for November 2023, to address the situation of indigenous peoples in the country.

Bangladesh accepted 26 recommendations related to the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples during its previous UPR in 2018. However, Bangladesh’s indigenous peoples, also known as Adivasis, remain among the most vulnerable and marginalized communities.

MRG and its partners urge States to recommend to Bangladesh to:

  • Recognize the legal status of Bangladesh’s indigenous peoples and protect their rights, including their land rights, in accordance with international human rights standards.
  • Ratify ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention 169.
  • Establish a mechanism for the meaningful participation of indigenous peoples in decision-making processes, including their right to say no to policies, laws and projects that have an impact on their territories, in line with their right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
  • Fully implement the 1997 Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord, including its key provisions regarding land rights, and demilitarize the CHT immediately, transfer adequate authority to Hill District Councils and facilitate democratic elections.
  • Ensure indigenous peoples’ access to justice, including in cases of lack of proper implementation of their rights and adequate remedy mechanisms. In order to ensure access to justice and remedies for indigenous women and girls, the mechanisms shall be gender responsive and adequate to overcome the specific barriers faced by indigenous women and girls.