Indigenous Rights - Intro Notes - Back to Index



The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues seems like a good place to start researching this topic. Of course the United Nations is hardly immune from corruption and has made some stunningly bad decisions (sanctioning the fraudulent "Act of Free Choice" in West Papua for instance) but let us hope they can do better in future.

On 2002-06-08 a West Papuan tribal leader named Benny Wenda was arrested by Indonesian security forces. Whilst in jail he was tortured and an attempt was made on his life, but with the help of sympathisers he escaped and made his way to England. I met Benny on 2003-01-04 just a few days after he arrived in the country. He was staying at a friend's house about a mile from mine and I cycled over with some spare gloves and other warm clothes. Since then I have been a supporter of Friends of Peoples Close to Nature, the group that helped him with his asylum application, got him settled in the UK, and later helped bring his wife and child over to join him.

On 2005-12-26 my application to edit the DMOZ category Society/Ethnicity/Indigenous People/Issues and Concerns was approved. Ian Gregory 2010