During the 1980s more than 100 thousand Mayans were forced from their villages into southern Mexico by the genocidal forces of the Guatemalan government while more than 1 million more were forced out of their villages into the mountains. The UN Commission on Refugees did not recognize the refugee status of Mayans. During the war between Nicaragua and the Miskito, Sumo and Rama (1981 – 1990) and these peoples were forced into Costa Rica and Honduras, the refugee status usually applied was not extended to them.
In that same decade thousands of indigenous peoples of Sumatra were forced out of their forest homes into tin roofed camps by the Indonesian government’s toleration of illegal precious wood deforestation by logging companies. More than 108 thousand indigenous Nepalis forced out from their homes by the Bhutan government have languished in refugee camps since 1990. More than 2 million Darfurians have been forced into Chad with hundreds of thousands killed through a deliberate policy of the Sudanese government.
More than thirty-eight million people from hundreds of Fourth World nations have been made refugees forced from their territories. Human Rights Watch refers to these people as “internally” displaced or those forced across state borders into refugee status. The numbers of peoples in “forced displaced” status is greater than the population of Canada and should be a matter for the Security Council of the United Nations to take up. Subregional conflicts that become regional conflicts are born in refugee camps–Palestinians and Nepalese are among those from whence instability arises.
Fourth World Nations themselves have a great duty to pay attention to the “forced displaced.” FW nations throughout the world have a duty to call attention to this grave situation and to take action to remedy the problem.
(c) 2007 Center for World Indigenous Studies
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The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here