[Press Release] Mining affects indigenous women human rights, Phil women’s groups said at 64thCEDAW session

Mining affects indigenous women human rights, Phil women’s groups said at 64thCEDAW session

Kakay Tolentino (left) delivering the groups’ oral statement with Judy Pasimio (middle) during the CEDAW committee dialogue with the CSOs / Geneva.  Photo by: WLB

Kakay Tolentino (left) delivering the groups’ oral statement with Judy Pasimio (middle) during the CEDAW committee dialogue with the CSOs / Geneva. Photo by: WLB

atm-logoGeneva, Switzerland – Mining projects which encroached upon IP territories without our genuine consent causing a web of women human rights violations has been one of the statements issued by indigenous women and women’s rights advocates from the Philippines in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 64th Session. The Philippines country report on CEDAW is under review on July 5, 2016.

Kakay Tolentino, from the Dumagat indigenous community, spoke on violence against indigenous women.

Tolentino represented the BAI (National Network of Indigenous Women). She said, “We would like to bring to the attention of the members of the Committee the increasing number of deaths, escalating human rights violations, intensifying poverty, and heightening of vulnerabilities of indigenous women.”

She pointed out that despite the passage of the RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) and the RA 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, laws containing provisions on equality and the protection of rights of indigenous women, the government has yet to fulfill its obligations to protect them and their communities from different forms of violence, including harassments and extrajudicial killings.

Based on their documentation, ninety (90) indigenous women and men became victims of extrajudicial killings, from July 2010-April 2016, under the Aquino administration. Most of those who have been killed are defenders of their rights from the corporate and state projects such as large-scale mining.

The killing of Juvy Capion was raised in the dialogue with the members of the CEDAW committee. Capion, a B’laan woman leader who was strongly opposed to the Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI)-Xstrata Mining project in their ancestral domain, was killed by military men last October 18, 2012, along with her two young sons.

The groups also raised the patriarchal structure of leadership within indigenous communities and how it has the tendency to exclude women in decision-making processes.

“Active participation of women in decision-making regarding mining projects in their ancestral domains is shunned by the manner in which information is transmitted and consultations are conducted. No serious measures are being taken by the State to ensure indigenous women’s consent as part of the decision-making processes. On the other hand, mining corporations are not held accountable for their failure to do so.” Judy A. Pasimio, Coordinator of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) shared to the members of the CEDAW committee during the Philippine lunch briefing.

Pasimio added, “The Philippines national development framework geared towards the maximum utilization of the country’s natural resources for profit gives preferential treatments to foreign investments, whereby women human rights are being sacrificed. Gender biases and discrimination, patriarchal structures, and violence against women are being institutionalized to further the interests, particularly of the mining corporations.”

The shadow report jointly submitted by the Franciscan International, Franciscan Solidarity Movement for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (FSMJPIC), LILAK  and Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) focused mainly on the different forms of violations of women human rights brought about  by the development framework which is exploitative, extractive and profit-oriented.

Other major concerns raised in the shadow report include the impact of mining on right to food – rural and indigenous women’s main source of livelihood dependent on forest, land and water, the right to health, and violence against indigenous women human rights defenders,

There were two other shadow reports focusing on the different forms of indigenous women human rights violations by the Philippine State submitted jointly by Tebtebba Foundation, Asia Indigenous Women’s Network, Bai (National Network of Indigenous Women), Teduray Women’s Group (TWG) and the Silingang Dapit sa Sidlakang Mindanao.

Photo from CEDAW 64th session can be accessed at [https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-SCEYNN-_aeazdIN0hkdEVBRUU&usp=sharing] Please credit all photos to LILAK.

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

For more information:
Judy Pasimio, LILAK Coordinator – judy@lilak.net
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator 09175498218 – nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Karl Isaac Santos, ATM Media and Communications Officer 09173011934 – media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net

Press Release
July 5, 2016

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