Indigenous Peoples situation of Bangladesh (2011)

Binota Dhamai, Sanjeeb Drong

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The majority of Bangladesh’s 143.3 million people are Bengalis, and approximately 2.5 million are indigenous peoples belonging to 45 different ethnic groups. These peoples are concentrated in the north, and in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in the south-east of the country. In the CHT, the indigenous peoples are commonly known as Jummas for their common practice of swidden cultivation (crop rotation agriculture) locally known as jum. There is no constitutional recognition of the indigenous peoples of Bangladesh. They are only referred to as “backward segments of the population”. Indigenous peoples remain among the most persecuted of all minorities, facing discrimination not only on the basis of their religion and ethnicity but also because of their indigenous identity and their socio-economic status. In the CHT, the indigenous peoples took up arms in defence of their rights. In December 1997, the 25-year-long civil war ended with a Peace Accord between the Government of Bangladesh and the Parbattya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS, United People’s Party), which led the resistance movement. The Accord recognizes the CHT as a “tribal inhabited” region, recognizes its traditional governance system and the role of its chiefs, and provides the building blocks for indigenous autonomy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Indigenous World 2011
    EditorsKathrin Wessendorf
    Place of PublicationNorway
    PublisherInternational Work Group for Indigenous Affairs
    ISBN (Print)9788791563973
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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