Press Communique

Binalakshmi Nepram Selected by Prestigious Colombia University, New York, USA

Friday, May 5, 2017

Imphal, Manipur, 5 May 2017 : Noted humanitarian, author, civil & gender rights activist from Manipur has been selected by Columbia University, a top American University based in New York for their programme starting 22nd May 2017 on Rights of Indigenous People. The programme is aimed to understand the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples including Indigenous Women’s Movements.

The programme also include visit to UN Headquarters, meetings with Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Dr. Chandra Roy-Henriksen, Chief of the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues also with UNICEF and UN WOMEN. Ms Nepram will also be meeting Chakma Chief & Barrister, Raja Devasish Roy from Chittagong Hill Tracts and also meet leaders of Native American Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in Akwesasne, USA. In addition to meetings, Ms Nepram will also be addressing Columbia University on issues of indigenous people’s history, cultures, struggles, rights and lands pertaining to Manipur and Northeast India where 90 per cent of people are indigenous.

In 2017 the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) completes 10 years. However, the situation of indigenous people around world continues to be grim. Globally, it is estimated that about 370 million indigenous people are living in world, out of which nearly half i.e.150 million are living in Asia. Indigenous people make up upto 30 per cent of the world’s poorest people. In India term indigenous people are yet to be defined properly however it is noted that many indigenous communities face racial and sexual violence and discrimination and 40% indigenous people are internally displaced including many from Northeast Region.

Ms Nepram is founder of award winning organization, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network and the first Manipuri woman to address the United Nations Headquarters in New York. She is author of several books and works with women survivors of violence for their empowerment for over a decade. Ms Nepram leaves for New York on 18th May and in a statement issued, she stated, " The immense struggle done for indigenous people's rights by people of Manipur and especially of the women will never be forgotten by generations to come. The programme will help deepen our understanding of issues so that solutions for peace and justice be found"




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