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Senate Meets Environment Minister to Discuss Proposal of Indigenous Peoples

PHNOM PENH: The Senate Human Rights Complaints and Investigation Commission (Committee 1) summoned Environment Minister, Say Sam Al, to discuss the request from indigenous communities to revise the draft law on protected areas and the draft law on forestry.

The meeting, chaired by the Chairman of the First Committee of the Senate, Yang Sem, was held at the Phnom Penh Senate on Tuesday morning, 29 November, to discuss the proposal of 16 indigenous groups, which includes a request for additional points on the draft laws and clarification on specific articles in the provision of rehabilitation to indigenous communities legally registered under the judicial police.

The proposal also outlines how indigenous mechanisms and traditional measures should be recognized before the mechanism and enforcement of the state law. The new draft law should be based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Convention No. 111 on Discrimination in Employment and Occupation.

Currently, the Ministry of Environment is preparing two new draft laws, namely the draft law on protected areas and the draft law on forestry, with eight inputs from indigenous peoples proposed. Most of these inputs have been incorporated in both draft laws, however, three main points still remain.

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