• Indigenous peoples in Bangladesh

    Indigenous peoples in Bangladesh

    Bangladesh is home to more than 54 indigenous peoples speaking more than 35 languages. Bangladesh has not adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the economic and political rights of the country's indigenous peoples remain ignored.
  • Peoples

    54 indigenous peoples speaking 35 languages live in Bangladesh.
  • Rights

    The land rights of indigenous peoples in Bangladesh continue to be one of the alarming issues and a key factor of gross human rights violations in the country.
  • Current state

    53 of cases of human rights violations against indigenous women were reported in Bangladesh in 2016. Many cases are never reported.
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  • Bangladesh: Ban Open-Pit Coal Mining, Save Forests and Farms

Bangladesh: Ban Open-Pit Coal Mining, Save Forests and Farms

A British company is trying to sell a bill of goods to one of the world's poorest countries, Bangladesh. Global Coal Management Resources (GCM) wants to bulldoze 12,000 acres of Bangladesh's most productive agricultural land and replace it with one of the world's largest open-pit coal mines.

By their own account, they would forcibly displace 40,000 people in the Phulbari region, including at least 2,200 Indigenous people whose history in the area dates back 5,000 years. A government-sponsored study estimates that 130,000 people in over 100 villages would be immediately displaced and another 100,000 would gradually be forced to leave as their wells and irrigation canals run dry from the mining. Independent researchers and the Jatiya Adivasi Parishad (National Indigenous Union) estimate that 50,000 Indigenous people belonging to 23 different tribal groups would be displaced or impoverished by the mine. Tens of thousands of Bangladeshi citizens have protested against the Phulbari mine project since 2005. After government forces opened fire during a non-violent protest in 2006, killing three people and wounding hundreds, a national strike closed down the country for four days. It ended when the government agreed to ban open-pit coal mining in Phulbari and kick the British company (then known as Asia Energy) out of the country -- a pledge they have not fulfilled. Instead, the government will announce a new coal policy by June 2011, and GCM expects to be in business soon thereafter. The National Indigenous Union and a broad coalition of human rights and environmental organizations are appealing for international support to prevent an ecological and humanitarian disaster in Phulbari.

Tags: Land rights, Climate action


IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. The Indigenous World 2019.

Contact IWGIA

Prinsessegade 29 B, 3rd floor
DK 1422 Copenhagen
Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
E-mail: iwgia@iwgia.org
CVR: 81294410

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