Scaling up initiatives for Lumad rights

The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR) scales up its human rights intervention for Indigenous Peoples by partnering with international humanitarian organization, Relief International (RI).

An inception meeting kicked-off the two-year project on 25 April 2017, orienting the new staff on the rigors and deliverables of the project which covers 43 communities in the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, and Misamis Oriental in the Philippines.

Funded under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, this new initiative will promote and protect human rights of vulnerable indigenous communities in the Philippines and Bangladesh. It is coordinated by RI, with RMP-NMR as its partner in the Philippines to focus on the Lumad, and the Sundarban Adibasi Munda Sangastha (SAMS) in Bangladesh for the Munda people.

Titled ‘Promoting and Protecting Indigenous Human Rights in Bangladesh and the Philippines’, the project will specifically seek to develop the capacity of indigenous human rights defenders to promote and defend their rights through monitoring and reporting on violations and abuses, and by building awareness of communities on universal human rights, rights of indigenous peoples and government responsibility to protect, promote and respect these rights.

The project also seeks to advocate for policies in the business engagements of the private sector and government institutions vis a vis indigenous peoples’ rights. Also included in the set of activities are mini grants for indigenous rights defenders at-risk.

The inception meeting was attended by the RMP-NMR staff and RI Philippines country director Nenita Negros, and Jack Morgan, RI Regional Program Development Manager.

“We are glad that this opportunity is given to us as we seek to sustain the interventions we started with the Healing the Hurt project,” said April Thessa Diaz, program coordinator of RMP-NMR. “We hope that by the time we are done with these funded projects on capacity building, the communities will already be knowledgeable on what to do with the human rights cases and abuses. Better yet, we hope that through the awareness and action of the communities and their support groups, these violations and abuses will be abated.”###




[PHOTO: The project staff and representatives of the RMP-NMR secretariat with RI Philippines country director Nenita Negros (front row, in red blouse), and Jack Morgan, RI Regional Program Development Manager (fourth from right).]