Kapaeeng Foundation has been working for promotion and protection of human rights of indigenous peoples in Bangladesh. Key Activities in promoting and protecting the human rights of indigenous peoples are to conduct lobby and advocacy activities at the local, national, regional and international levels; campaign and urgent appeals; promotional work on ILO Convention No. 107 and 169 on Tribal and Indigenous Peoples and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), networking and strengthening relationship between indigenous peoples’ organisations and communities etc. Kapaeeng Foundation has been creating an enabling environment where by indigenous peoples are capable to raise their voice against injustice, human rights violation, forcible land gabbing and demand for their individual and collective rights, constitutional recognition of their nationality, languages, culture and fundamental rights.
Over the years the indigenous peoples experienced a strong sense of social, political and economic exclusion, lack of recognition, fear and insecurity, loss of cultural identity, and social oppression. Mainstream development efforts have either ignored their concerns and/or had a negative impact on them. Often issues and actions that affect them are not discussed with these communities or organizations representing them. Thus they are subjected to stark socio-economic deprivation.
Despite severe discrimination and oppression on indigenous peoples, the solidarity between and among indigenous peoples in both the hill region and the other regions of Bangladesh and between indigenous peoples and mainstream citizens of the country has grown in a significantly during the recent decades.
Despite the some successes and achievements during recent decades, indigenous peoples’ organizations are facing problems in smooth networking and coordinating the programme of activities on promotion and protection of the human rights of indigenous peoples. However, liaison with various indigenous peoples’ organizations and between indigenous people’s organizations and mainstream support organizations is among the important factors for lobby and campaign for indigenous peoples’ cause.
Key activities under the project on Promotion and Protection of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Bangladesh are –
- Conducting lobby, campaign and advocacy programmes for causes of indigenous peoples
- Submission of report to UN human rights bodies including Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples
- Communication with NHRC regarding violation of human rights of indigenous peoples
- Participation in the meetings of UN bodies including EMRIP, UNPFII and preparatory meeting of Asia indigenous peoples
- Publication of human rights report on indigenous peoples in Bangladesh
- Networking with indigenous peoples’ organisations and human rights organisations at local, national, regional and international level
- Capacity building of indigenous peoples’ organisations and communities.