World’s Indigenous Peoples Day Observed in Aizawl
10 August 2011: The Zo Indigenous Forum and the Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) jointly organised a seminar in Aizawl, Mizoram State of India, commemorating the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples yesterday.
The event attended by about 20 people from NGOs and local communities was held at the CHRO Office in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva in 1982.
In the statement, the Zo Indigenous Forum urged all sections of Zo indigenous people worldwide to stand united, and to preserve and protect the social, economic and cultural identities and institutions as well as traditional knowledge.
Key speakers at the celebration, chaired by CHRO Field Director Pu Terah Thantluang, included C. Lalremruata, Director of Zo Indigenous Forum on indigenous people and development; and Bernard L. Chhangte on migration and cross-border issues of migrants indigenous people.
In 1994, the General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples shall be observed on 9 August every year during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.
The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
Across the globe, the indigenous peoples number about 300 million, living in more than 70 countries and representing over 5,000 languages.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang