ILO and Partners Celebrate International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples 2019

The International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples was celebrated in Bangladesh on 6 August 2019 at an event organized by The Indigenous Peoples Forum and Kapaeeng Foundation the ILO, UNDP, Australian Aid, and Royal Danish Embassy all attended the event.

Eminent guests at the celebration event of World Indigenous Peoples day 2019
Each year, 9th August marks International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year’s theme was Indigenous Languages. The aim is to highlight the critical need to revitalize, preserve, and promote indigenous languages. Estimates suggest that more than half of the world’s languages will become extinct by 2100.

Indigenous peoples rely on their traditions, skills, and knowledge as assets for their livelihoods."

Tuomo Poutiainen, Country Director, ILO Country Office for Bangladesh

ILO Bangladesh, under the global Indigenous Navigator project supported by the European Union, has facilitated 25 indigenous communities to collect data on their language, culture, livelihood, education, access to practice rights, employment, etc.

One of the major findings from this project was indigenous languages. The indigenous communities identified that 92 percent of languages are vulnerable; 4 percent of languages are critically endangered, and the remaining 4 percent already extinct in Bangladesh. Only five indigenous communities get bilingual education at primary level and there are no indigenous teachers to teach in the schools.

UN Resident Coordinator, Mia Seppo, emphasized the need to preserve indigenous languages and to enhance access to education for their own language.

Sanjeeb Drong, General Secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, presented a keynote on the rights of indigenous peoples in Bangladesh and the updates on the SDGs and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh.

Chairperson of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, Jyotirindro Bodhipriya Larma, discussed the challenges that indigenous peoples are still facing for the implementation of the peace accord in Chattogram Hill Tracts.
ILO Bangladesh is working with the government in promoting the ratification of the conventions and integrating its principals in the local practices and laws.

Since 2010, ILO, along with UN agencies, has facilitated the Parliamentary Caucus on the Indigenous affairs.