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  5. Finding a Place of Safety

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FOCUS March 2022 Volume 107

Finding a Place of Safety


Communities of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities in many cases survive in an environment of uncertainty. Their resilience has a high cost - they face displacement from the land they occupy, violence and lack of protection from the government.

Being members of these communities means having less rights. Christians in India have to hide their religious beliefs or practices in order to avoid attacks from Hindu nationalists. Kyrgyz people get their livelihood from a harsh mountainous environment and unable to access government services if they are available. The Ainu have to live without recognition of the deprivation suffered from colonization of their land and the discrimination they endure as indigenous people. Rohingyas have to suffer from exclusion as citizens of Myanmar, a policy supported by many who fight for democracy.

Is there a place then where they can enjoy safety and their human rights respected? There is no other place but that where they have lived all along. The place of safety should not be across national border or any border for that matter but the place that they call home. Human rights must be there, enjoyed as a community in peaceful coexistence with the rest of society.