MINELRES: MRG e-bulletin (March 2009)

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Thu Apr 2 20:05:53 2009

Original sender: Minority Rights Group <noreply@mrgmail.org>

Welcome to the Minority Rights Group International (MRG) email bulletin.
Simply click on the links below in order to access the full news story
or publication on MRG's website, or alternatively visit our site at

March 2009 

News Features

Violence could mar Iraqi elections-minorities express concern

Fears of violent attacks and the failure to register large numbers of
minorities on voter lists could seriously jeopardise the conducting of
free and fair provincial elections in Iraq, minority activists in Iraq
Read more: 

Independent Expert on Minority Issues report welcome, says MRG

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) welcomes the annual report of
the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues (IEMI), Ms Gay McDougall,
presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 13 March. 
MRG congratulates the Independent Expert on the work she has undertaken
in the past year, including two productive country missions – to Greece
and Guyana – and her involvement in the success of the first Forum on
Minority Issues in December 2008. 
Read more:

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) releases
Concluding Observations on Pakistan in its 74th Session, February 2009

CERD has once again criticised Pakistan’s failure to provide data on the
ethnic composition of its population. The government only provides
protection to recognised religious groups leading the Committee to
recommend that the constitutional definition of minorities be broadened
to include ethnic and linguistic groups. 
Despite the lack of data the Committee also said that ethnic
discrimination could be inferred from the unequal distribution of
resources between provinces in the country and the denial of fundamental
human rights to residents of the Tribal Areas. 
CERD also urged the adoption of legislation prohibiting caste-based
discrimination and expressed concern at the discriminatory application
of blasphemy laws in the country. 
Read more:

MRG in the News

A selection of MRG’s news coverage over the past month

Kenya: Changing lifestyles put indigenous communities at risk

Civilian death toll soars in Sri Lanka

Nepal: Forms and Origins of Discrimination

La liberte religieuse et la question de la « reciprocite » Le Dr Harry

Campaign Updates


Due to an ongoing need for support for the Endorois community MRG has
decided to prolong the life of the Trouble in Paradise campaign
until June 2009. Please add your voice so that this indigenous community
in Kenya can share in the profits of lucrative tourism in the Rift

Positive News - MRG and the Endorois community are the fortunate
beneficiaries of a grant from the Baring Foundation
<http://www.baringfoundation.org.uk/> in the UK, which will be used over
the next few years to train community members in skills now vital to
preserve their traditional way of life, such as lobbying and advocacy on
land rights issues. A number of meetings to inform community members of
the status of their land rights case before the African Commission on
Human and Peoples Rights have already been held and the first Endorois
Welfare Council office is fully equipped and operational in the Rift
Valley town of Nakuru.

Trouble in Paradise campaign supporters continue to send encouraging
messages, like this one from Spain:

"There are many Westerners like me who will not visit a country which
evicts their traditional inhabitants to make way for tourists. Please
manage your beautiful country fairly and responsibly; give the Endorois
what is rightly theirs." - Isabel Villena, Barcelona, February 2009

You can also check out the Trouble in Paradise Flickr photostream
<http://www.flickr.com/photos/minorityrights/> and join the Trouble in
Paradise Facebook page.


We at MRG aim to keep up the fight to get Indigenous communities heard,
and to have them included in future talks on climate change. Join our
fight by signing on to our Show of Hands campaign
We have so far collected 875 signatures but we need more support. Please
also pass on the link to your friends and family so we get more people
signing up.

We are planning to compile a list of all the interesting comments we
have on our site. If you are from an indigenous or minority community
and have comments or photos on the impact of climate change please
e-mail us at showofhands@mrgmail.org.

Join our Facebook Show of Hands fans page and give us your comments and

Jobs and Internships at MRG

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) exists to promote the rights
of minorities and promote cooperation between communities. In line with
this mission MRG seeks to involve volunteers and interns. To read more
on internship opportunity, please click here:


New report on Turkey

The Turkish government must act to stop discrimination against minority
children in schools which ignore their distinct culture, language,
history and religion, says Minority Rights Group International in a new
report. Read more:

Upcoming launch of new report on Kosovo

Between the Kosovo-Albanian run government, the European Union Rule of
Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and the UN mission in Kosovo, minorities
lack proper legal protection. This report considers the legal vacuum
that currently exists in Kosovo, which declared its independent just
over one year ago. The report looks at the protections that are in place
for minorities and considers how they can be strengthened for the safety
and participation of minorities in this fragile state. To be launched in
April 2009, see MRG website for more details.


World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

The World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples covers 220 of
the world's countries and dependent territories, and features profiles
of about 700 minorities/indigenous peoples and is an excellent one-stop
shop for journalists, academics, researchers, policy makers and


Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is a non-governmental
organization working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide, and to promote
cooperation and understanding between communities.

MRG is a registered charity no. 282305, and has consultative status with
the United Nations Economic and Social Council and observer status with
the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights.

Minority Rights Group International
54 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LT, UK
Tel: 020 7422 4200
Fax: 020 7422 4201
Email: minority.rights@mrgmail.org

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