|Credit: Colin Nicholas|
From 6-7 November 2013, a national land conference was held in Sabah, Malaysia, to further explore Indigenous peoples’ land rights following from the National Land Inquiry report of the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM). The conference was organised by Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS, the national Indigenous peoples’ network of Malaysia) and Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS Trust) with the support of the Rainforest Foundation Norway and Rainforest Action Network.
The conference included several expert presentations, panel discussions, and a resolution based on a number of constructive recommendations suggested by participants. Topics addressed included, among others: Indigenous peoples’ rights in international law (with particular emphasis on self-determination and free, prior and informed consent), jurisprudence on Indigenous peoples’ land rights, issues with conflicting claims in forest reserves, conservation areas and palm oil plantations, and mechanisms for redress and remedy such as tribunals, national commissions, and compensation schemes. For detailed real-time coverage of the conference, please visit JOAS’ Facebook page and Twitter feed. Additional coverage is available in Free Malaysia Today.