Indigenous people often face land-related violence — CHR

Published October 31, 2020, 12:05 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Commission on Human Rights  highlighted issues faced by indigenous people as it observed the 23rd anniversary of the passage of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act and the National Indigenous Peoples Month this October.

Based on the experiences faced by CHR employees on the ground, most of the human rights violations perpetrated against indigenous peoples are land-related harassments, attacks, and killings.

“Some also endured State repression when caught in conflict situations, while others experience continuing discrimination in accessing basic social services,” spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said in a statement.

De Guia said that the resources lying within the indigenous peoples’ ancestral territories are sadly being extracted for profits. In doing so, the lives of many indigenous communities are disrupted.

To justify these projects, business owners reason that they are encroaching on the lands of indigenous peoples for the sake of development. However, the CHR said that these are actually contrary to the best interest of the people. 

“Not only does this leaves indigenous peoples displaced, militarized, or exploited for cheap labor, but this also leaves environmental destruction in its wake,” lamented De Guia.

This is why the CHR welcomed the renewed commitment of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples which was created to be the primary government agency that formulates and implements policies for the recognition, promotion, and protection of the rights of the indigenous peoples, as well as correct the injustices they face.