Aug 13, 2013

UNPO Present During Indigenous Day Demonstration in Amsterdam

Friday August 9th a demonstration took place in Amsterdam to raise awareness for indigenous people worldwide. UNPO was present to support.

On Friday August 9th a demonstration was held on the Dam square in Amsterdam to raise awareness about the abuse of indigenous people all over the world. Several indigenous people were present at this demonstration including the West Papua and AlifURU (Indonesia), the Karib (Surinam), and the Aztec (Mexico).  Through traditional dance and music they attracted the attention of passersby, and after their performances there was time for the peoples to vocalize the issues they, and the indigenous people of the world, were facing.

The demonstration was held on this day specifically because August 9th is the ‘International Day of the World’s Indigenous People’. This day was instated by the UN Secretary-General in 1994 and has been used ever since as an opportunity to voice concerns about the issues that the indigenous people are faced with. Chief amongst these issues are land grabbing, basic human rights violations, cultural assimilation and lack of representation in local and national government.

UNPO was present at the demonstration in solidarity with the indigenous people and their plight. UNPO has always been dedicated to advancing the rights of indigenous people. This is reflected in the number of indigenous people which are represented by the UNPO such as the Ahwazi (Iran), the Assyrians (Iraq), the Batwa (Rwanda), the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Bangladesh), the Degar-Montagnards (Vietnam and Cambodia), the Khmer Krom (Vietnam), the Mapuche (Chile), the Rehoboth Basters (Namibia), and the Vhavenda (South Africa). Additionally UNPO has been working on a three year project supported by the Nando Peretti Foundation entitled ‘Earth, Exploration and Survival’. This project is focused on five indigenous peoples from across the world and strives to empower these communities through language, culture and environment.