World Indigenous Day, 2012


Despite the government’s official ban on the celebration of “World Indigenous Day” on the 9th of August, indigenous peoples nationwide organised activities calling for their rights and constitutional recognition in Bangladesh. Following an official directive that was submitted by the government in March, the police obstructed programmes in at least two districts and nine people were injured in police attacks against demonstrators, according to local sources. 

GHRD Campaign: World Indigenous Day: Protect the Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh!

On the 9th of August, World Indigenous Day, GHRD presented the results of a one month global online petition campaign together with Jumma peoples in Bangladesh, the United Kingdom and Australia. The petition, calling for constitutional recognition of indigenous peoples and the implementation of the CHT peace accord, had obtained 1043 signatures in 51 countries worldwide. It was handed over to authorities in Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Australia and the Netherlands:

  • In The Netherlands, The Hague: GHRD staff delivered the petition both to members of the foreign affairs committee of the Parliament, as well as to the Dutch Human Rights Ambassador, Mr Lionel Veer, and briefed him on the recent concerns.

  • In the UK, London: Five members of the Jumma Peoples Network UK handed over the petition to the Office of the PM at Downing Street 10.

  • In Bangladesh, Dhaka: Kapaeeng Foundation, a delegation led by its Chairperson Mr Rabindranath Soren, delivered the petition at the Office of the Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina.

  • CHT Indigenous Jumma Association Australia (CHTIJAA) submitted the petition to its Prime Minister, Julia Gillard

GHRD wish to thank all our partners and supporters for their contribution in making this campaign a truly global effort!

Petition statistics: 1043 people, in 51 countries, signed our global petition! Which countries are on the top 5? Read on: 

The top 5 supporting countries correlates with the countries in which the petition was delivered. Amongst these we also witnessed welcome support from the USA. The other 46 countries included: Canada, Sweden, India, France, Germany, Nepal and New Zealand. There were also supporters from South Africa, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Kenya. 


Bangladesh: 31,5%

Netherlands: 16,5%

Australia: 10%

USA: 6,5%

UK: 5,5%

46 other countries: 30%


Note: Numbers are approximate. 

CHT commission asks government to allow observance of World Indigenous Day

Next to its ban and maintained position “that there are no indigenous peoples in Bangladesh” the government also continued to hinder foreigner’s access to the Chittagong Hill Tracts region. Thomas Eskildsen, an advisor to the CHT Commission, was the latest victim of unexplained deportation from the country. The CHT Commission protested these recent developments at a press conference in Dhaka the days before World Indigenous Day.