‘The indigenous women’s voices and “her stories”, as an integral part of the women’s movement and indigenous peoples’ movement, remain faint. This reflects the overall conditions of indigenous women as relatively more marginalized, discriminated against and dis-empowered at all levels. It also illustrates the urgent need to strengthen indigenous women’s organizations and institutions, as well as their leadership and effective participation, in all matters that concern them as women and as indigenous peoples.’ Joan Carling, Secretary General, AIPP.
Projects and programme interventions of multilateral development banks have a record of systematic and widespread human rights violations for indigenous peoples in Asia. In many countries, indigenous peoples have been subjected to widespread displacement and irreversible loss of traditional livelihoods. Behind these human rights violations is the denial of indigenous peoples’ rights to their lands, territories and resources and to their right to give their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) to projects and programme interventions, including those in the name of sustainable development and human development. Among them, the large infrastructure (dams and highway construction) and environmental “conservation” projects have had the most detrimental adverse impacts on indigenous peoples. There are a good number of examples of such projects that have negatively impacted indigenous peoples’ communities in Asian countries, some of which follow below.
As multiple international agencies adopt and update their social and environmental policies, this special edition Forest Peoples Programme E-Newsletter reviews experiences of communities and civil society with the safeguard policies of various international financial institutions.