ASEAN's Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous Peoples are not at all mentioned or referred to in any ASEAN document, even though they are an integral part of the ASEAN Community and among its most vulnerable sectors, whose interest the ASEAN has committed itself to protect.
The failure of the ASEAN to address the plight of its Indigenous Peoples despite its expressed commitment to human rights and social justice is a shortcoming that needs to be corrected urgently. Unless Indigenous Peoples are fully recognized as integral part of a culturally diverse ASEAN, and unless Indigenous Peoples’ collective rights and identity are respected, ASEAN’s goal of deveopment with equity,democracy and respect for human rights cannot be achieved.
This briefing paper identifies the common characteristics of the indigenous peoples living in the Southeast Asian ASEAN countries and informs about their rights, current problems and mayor political demands.