7th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability – Indigenous Forum
Indigenous persons with disabilities often experience multiple discrimination and face barriers to the full enjoyment of their rights based on their indigenous status and also on disability. The international community has recognized that special measures are required to protect the rights of the world’s indigenous people. The indigenous peoples of Oceania are Papuans, and Austronesian Melanesians including Torres Strait Islanders, Micronesians, and Polynesians.
Indigenous peoples make up the majority populations of Oceania These differs from the term Pacific Islanders which usually excludes indigenous Australians and may be understood to include both the indigenous and non-indigenous populations of the Pacific Islands alike. there are available reliable data on indigenous population in the Pacific through national censuses which includes population of persons with disabilities. However, these data need to be analysed and made available to organisation of persons with disabilities.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples UNDRIP was adopted by the General Assembly on Thursday 13th September 2007. The Declaration is the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of indigenous peoples. The UNDRIP obligates the state to protect the indigenous people, natural resources, language, and culture in any situation. In the Pacific, only two countries are parties to the declaration, i.e., Federated States of Micronesia and Samoa.
The Pacific Disability Forum is one of the founding member of the Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN). The other founding members of the IPWDGN network include the First Peoples Disability Network in Australia and group of persons with disabilities from Bangladesh, Kenya, Mexico, Canada, and the Pacific who, have come together during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues UNPFII 2013. The UN Permanent Forum gathers annually and deliberates on issues such as land, marine resources and the sea amongst many others which are critical to indigenous population as resources owners and the discrimination as a person with disabilities.
The Forum will be in 3 hybrid sessions:
Tuesday 7th February, 2pm – 3:15 pm Fiji time – Inclusion of indigenous persons with disabilities in normative frameworks and networks.