Khmer Krom Youths Trained on the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Participants from KKF Europe include: THHAI Makarar, KIM Valentin, KIM Céline, BIV Bora, KHOUN Toma, KHOUN Sarah and Joshua Cooper. Khmer Krom youths have attended training on the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, Switzerland with KKF Advisor Joshua Cooper. Report by Makara Thhai The main objective for this Second Session of the Expert Mechanism on the Right of Indigenous People was to discuss on how to implement the Rights in the Declaration of the United Nations on the Rights of the Indigenous People (13 September 2007) from the paper to the practice on the ground. The Declaration offers a framework to advance the rights of the indigenous peoples through dialogue between States, indigenous peoples, the United Nations system and others concerned. “The Expert Mechanism provides a unique space for focused multilateral discussions that could contribute towards a better understanding of the scope and contents of the rights affirmed for indigenous peoples and how the implementation of these rights can be advanced,” Ms Jannie Lasimbang Chairperson-Rapporteur added. One of the fundamental rights embedded in the Declaration is the Right of Education for all indigenous peoples. The ancestral language is a vital source for the indigenous people for their development. For some indigenous peoples, governments have not recognized their languages or recognize the peoples as the ancestral owners of the land. Languages are changed at will by the dominant government. The traditional way of learning is often changed and original materials that support their indigenous learning are often destroyed. As a result many indigenous peoples did not know how to read or to write their own language especially in a colonial dominated country that gains independence such as the Khmer Krom people from Vietnam. The few who graduated from a government school, are often brainwashed and act like the dominating government. Some suggestions of the indigenous representatives, observers, NGOs, representatives of the Member State:

  • Diagnostic on the education’s problem on the ground
  • More subsidies for the Expert Mechanism who can lead a special study about the education (the program, the system, the support etc.)
  • Thinking as well about the jurisdiction of the education field
  • Respect the vision educational of the indigenous peoples
  • More grants to encourage indigenous children to go to school
  • More facilities support for the families to send their children to school
  • More financial support for the families after they sends their children go to educate because the stability of daily life is also helped by their children
  • Provide grant for the sport field

The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a new United Nations mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples and was created by the Human Rights Council.