Support indigenous rights at UN level, gov't urged
10:50AM Sep 13, 2014
The government has been urged to support the outcome document of the World Conference on Indigenous People (WCIP), so as to improve the conditions of Malaysia’s indigenous people.
According to Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS), the document is currently being drafted and is the result of consultations with the UN General Assembly president from June to August this year.
The outcome document will have an impact on the Sept 22 and 23 UN General Assembly.
It added that it is imperative for Malaysia to support it, in order to fulfill its human rights obligations after adopting the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDrip).
"As the draft outcome document is now being negotiated and finalised by state parties, JOAS appeals to the government to support and strengthen the draft to address and improve the conditions of the Orang Asal to attain equality and equity as part of the larger society.
"The positive actions of states for a strong outcome document of the WCIP will also pave the way in achieving social justice and conflict transformation prevailing in indigenous territories because of ongoing violation of their rights," it said.
"Indigenous peoples deserve no less than the respect and enjoyment of their rights as equal to others."
JOAS, which represents 83 organisations in Malaysia, is also supported by 132 organisations in lobbying the government for its support of the outcome document.