Oromo Ethiopians clash with government over land, language rights
- Members of the ethnic community have been protesting in a cycle of dissent and retribution since November, with activists reporting as many as 200 dead despite largely peaceful demonstrations.
- The Oromo have clashed with the government over land rights as they have found themselves pushed off their land by ongoing urban development driven by the country’s economic boom.
- Language rights have been a particular flashpoint, with the government’s refusal to officially recognize Oromo, the country’s most widely spoken native language, leading to Amharic-only instruction in schools.
“Video: Anger among Ethiopia’s Oromo ethnic group boils over” (France 24)
“What do Oromo protests mean for Ethiopian unity?” (BBC)
“Ethiopian students demand end to police crackdowns in rare protest” (Reuters)
(Image Credit: via BBC)
Ethnic health groups in Myanmar call for government recognition as new president sworn in
- The Health Convergence Core Group (HCCG), a coalition eight ethnic and community health organizations, has led the effort to see local health organizations recognized under the new Burmese government.
- At a conference that brought together 110 people from 21 organizations ahead of the swearing in of Myanmar’s new president, healthcare leaders called for the decentralization of public health services to be more inclusive of healthcare provided by community organizations.
- Ethnic health groups provide a broad range of services, from reproductive healthcare to health education, that are shaped by the cultural and health specificities of Myanmar’s ethnic minorities.
“Ethnic health organizations call for Burmese government’s recognition of community-based health services” (Burma News International)
“Community health: We care for our own” (The Myanmar Times)
(Image Credit: EPA via The Myanmar Times)
LGBT Mozambicans’ Struggle for Healthcare Visibility and Protection
Despite the decriminalization of homosexuality in Mozambique in June 2015, LGBT Mozambicans, particularly those living with HIV, are still struggling for health security in the nation. While international organizations have stepped in to provide support, domestic clinics continue to discriminate while attempting to contain the country’s HIV infection rates, one of the highest in the world. Advocacy groups have begun working to create guidelines for the testing and treatment of the LGBT population as the continued exclusion of the highest-risk population has exacerbated the public health crisis.
“Mozambique’s enduring discrimination leaves gay men untreated for HIV” (The Guardian)
Lambda (Mozambique LGBT advocacy group)
“Dispatches: Mozambique’s Double Speak on LGBT Rights” (Human Rights Watch, January 2016)
“Mozambique decriminalises gay and lesbian relationships” (BBC, July 2015)
(Image Credit: LambdaMoz, via The Guardian)
The Women Enforcers of Ghunduribadi
While international media attention often focuses on oppressive conditions women face in India’s tribal regions, women from Ghunduribadi, in the eastern state of Odisha, have stepped up as the security forces to protect the land rights of their villages. Land rights reforms have sought to reclaim ancestral lands expropriated under British colonial laws, but enforcement has been spotty and, according to some advocates and lawmakers, diluted. As their community suffered from illegal incursions into the forest their village relies on for food and supplies, the women banded together to conduct patrols, stepping in where the law wouldn’t to ensure that their land and community are protected.
“These Indian women said they could protect their local forests better than the men in their village. The men agreed.” (Public Radio International)
“‘Centre, states undermining tribal rights’” (Hindustan Times)
“Cong. protests ‘dilution’ of Forest Rights Act” (The Hindu)
(Image Credit: Sam Eaton/PRI)