Indigenous peoples network to propose new bill to protect indigenous rights

The Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand (NIPT) is calling for voters to back their Council of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand bill, which proposes to set up a formal indigenous peoples’ council to give Thailand’s indigenous population the opportunity to resolve community rights issues in ways that are suitable to their way of life.

The Indigenous Media Network (IMN) reported in late December 2020 that the NIPT has published the full draft of the bill and is calling for Thai citizens over 18 years old to help back the bill in order to propose it to parliament.

According to IMN, Thailand’s indigenous peoples are facing many human rights issues, from land rights, access to basic welfare, and citizenship to the loss of their cultural identity, while the younger generation continues to leave their communities to find work elsewhere. These problems are a result of the way the government’s policies and legislation relating to indigenous communities do not take their traditional way of life into consideration, as well as going against the intentions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), to which Thailand is a signatory, along with 143 other countries.

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