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Indian government halts discriminatory regulation after IWGIA and partner intervention

The Government of India halted a discriminatory draft development regulation as a result of interventions by IWGIA and the Indigenous Lawyers Association of India (ILAI). IWGIA and ILAI wrote an urgent request to the CERD to intervene against the Indian government to immediately withdraw the illegal and arbitrary “Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR) 2021”.

This regulation would have given the Administrator of the Union Territory of India – the representative of the Central Government – sweeping, arbitrary and unchecked powers to grab the lands of the Lakshadweep Scheduled Tribes (Indigenous Peoples), thus having the potential to destroy the Indigenous community and the ecology of the archipelago. The LDAR proposed changes in existing land ownership and usage legislation which would have directly interfered with the islanders’ right to possess and retain their property. It would have empowered the government to select any land for development activities including the building and infrastructure of large buildings and allowing extractive operations.

As a follow-up to the IWGIA-ILAI urgent request, the CERD made an official communication to the Government of India requesting them to provide information on the measures they would adopt to fully and adequately guarantee the right to consultation and to fulfil the requirement of Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the Scheduled Tribes, as well as on any steps taken to consider suspending the adoption of the LDAR or withdrawing it until such consultations take place and consent is obtained.

Read the CERD official communication here

Tags: Land rights

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IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

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