On the 14th and 15th of March the Human Rights Division of Global Human Rights Defence payed a visit to London. Two meetings were scheduled with organisations in the UK capital.
Firstly, the team got together with representatives of the Jumma Peoples Network UK and on the second day Minority Rights Group International received GHRD at their offices in central London.
On the 14th of April the team of GHRD met up with representatives of the Jumma Peoples Network UK (JPN-UK). The JPN is a network of local organisations that defend the rights of the indigenous people that live in the Chittagong Hill Tracts area in Bangladesh.
The GHRD-team was informed about the current state of affairs in the Chittagong Hills Tracts. The representatives described the situation as very desperate for the Jumma people. The Bangladesh military who are supposedly in the area for the protection of the indigenous population are controlling their daily lives. Indigenous people are constantly at risk of losing their homes, their land and their crops. The recent incident in February where hundreds of houses of Jumma’s were burned down and at least five people were killed illlustrates the very dangerous position that the Jumma people are in. GHRD and JPN-UK discussed the current problems with documenting the violations that are taking place and on the best approach for further cooperation.
The second meeting on the 15th of April, was with Minority Rights Groups International (MRGI). The GHRD-team was welcomed at their main office by Carl Söderbergh, director of policy and communications and two associates. MRGI is one of the largest non-governmental organisations worldwide that focuses on the rights of indigenous and minority groups. The organisation was founded in the 1970’s as an activist movement, but over the years has become a staffed and authoritive organisation in the field of minority rights. Currently it is working together with 130-150 grassroots organisations all over the world. During the meeting the latest information in the field of minority rights was discussed and GHRD and MRGI used the opportunity to exchange some of their recent publications.