New Report: Indigenous Rights Violations at Baram Dam Site in Sarawak

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A new report entitled “No Consent to Proceed: Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Violations at the Proposed Baram Dam in Sarawak” is being launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The report is based on information gathered by an independent fact-finding team that met and interviewed people in 13 of the 26 villages that will be affected by the proposed dam. It identifies specific violations of the Malaysian Constitution and provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People committed against the Kenyah, Kayan and Penan people living around the proposed site of the Baram Dam that have taken place at the hands of the state-owned company, Sarawak Energy Bhd, and the Sarawak government. The main findings reveal a fundamental denial of indigenous peoples’ rights to free, prior and informed consent, to their ancestral lands, livelihood, self-determination and to make decisions about their own futures, free of coercion. The report recommends that Sarawak Energy immediately halt all preparatory work and withdraw from the area, and that institutions offering or considering loans, financing or providing services to Sarawak Energy should withold all support in order to avoid complicity with the rights violations and corruption allegations associated with this company.

The report is published by SAVE Rivers, a Sarawak based network of indigenous peoples, and is endorsed by  Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Bruno Manser Fund and International Rivers. It is written by Tanya Lee, Thomas Jalong and Wong Meng-Chuo. It can be downloaded here.

The Chinese version of the report can be downloaded here. The press advisory for the report launch in Kuala Lumpur can be downloaded here. 

The report’s findings and recommendations are also supported by the following organizations:

Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara- Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (Indonesia)

Article 19: Defending Freedom of Expression and Information (International)

Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Network on Extractive Industries and Energy (AIPNEE)

Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (Asia Pacific)

Association of Nepal Kirat Kulung Language and Cultural Development (Nepal)

Borok Peoples’ Human Rights Organisation (India)

Borok Indigenous Tribal Development Centre (India)

Borneo Resources Institute (Malaysia)

Building Community Voices (Cambodia)

Center for Orang Asli Concern (Malaysia)

Centre for Organisation Research & Education (India)

Centre for Research and Advocacy-Manipur (India)

Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources-Manipur (India)

Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (Philippines)

Cordillera Youth Center (Philippines)

Forest Peoples’ Programme (UK)

Gobi Soil (Mongolia)

Hawai’i Center for Human Rights Research & Action (Hawai’i)

Hawai’i Institute for Human Rights (Hawai’i)


Indigenous Peoples’ Links (UK)

International Council for the Indigenous Peoples of Chittagong Hill Tracts (Bangladesh)

Justice and Peace Network (Myanmar)

Kirat Chamling Lanugage Culture Development Association (Nepal)

Kirat Youth Society (Nepal)

Koalisyon ng mga Katutubo at Samahan ng Pilipinas/National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines (Philippines)

Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (Nepal)

Netherlands Centre for Indigenous Peoples (Netherlands)

NGO Coalition for Environment (Nigeria)

NGO Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities (Nepal)

Organization For the Promotion of Kui Culture (Cambodia)

Oyu Tolgoi Watch (Mongolia)

PACOS Trust (Malaysia)

PADI Indonesia (Indonesia)

Peoples’ Unity Young Society (Nepal)

Radyo Sagada (Philippines)

Rivers without Boundaries (Mongolia)

Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Malaysia)

Society for New Initiatives and Activities (Italy)

TARA-Ping Pu (Taiwan)

Tribal Environmental Policy Center (USA)