The Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) welcomed over the weekend diverse participants to the Cordillera leg of the IP Champions workshop on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Constitutions Assessment Tool (IPCAT). The weeklong training is part of the EU-supported IAG and International IDEA project to advance indigenous rights in the Philippines.

 

The tool will help IP Champions ascertain inclusions and exclusions of IP rights as well as probable gaps, in the existing laws and Constitution itself.

 

The underlying philosophy is to strengthen the legal framework for the indigenous peoples’ self-determination so they can exercise freely and participate equally in all social, governmental and political processes.

 

The project aims to support indigenous peoples most at risk of discrimination, marginalization and other forms of violations of their nationally and internationally protected rights, by working on both the supply and demand side of the system for protecting and promoting indigenous rights in the Philippines, focusing on indigenous peoples in the BARMM and Cordillera due to their relatively high populations and the particular vulnerabilities and opportunities presented by the unique autonomy arrangements applying to their regions.

 

The overall goal is to enhance indigenous peoples’ rights in the Philippines by contributing to a situation where indigenous communities have empowered advocates who can demand rights, and where institutions responsible for upholding these rights have the knowledge and skills to respond to such requests to effectively fulfill their mandates. The project aims to contribute to this overall objective by working with two target groups: indigenous peoples’ groups (particularly in Bangsamoro and the Cordillera) and relevant national and sub-national institutions.

 

International IDEA is an intergovernmental organization advancing democracy worldwide, as a universal human aspiration and an enabler of sustainable development, through support to the building, strengthening, and safeguarding of democratic political institutions and processes at all levels.

 

IAG is a leading policy center on governance and human security in the southern Philippines and fragile environments with a recognized impact on sustainable peace and development. It engages people, leaders, and institutions in capacity building, dialogue, and knowledge production towards evidence-based public policies and practices.