Protect Indigenous People From Destructive Coal Mines

adivasi-protest-ekta-parishad

Target: Shri Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of State for Coal

Goal: Stop the illegal human rights abuses perpetrated by Coal India Limited and bring justice to displaced communities.

India’s forests are rich with natural resources that coal companies are desperate to get their hands on, even at the expense of India’s indigenous people, the Adivasi. Coal India Limited (CIL) is a state-owned coal company and is the largest coal producer in the world, with subsidiaries throughout the country. CIL is subject to both national and international laws regulating its impact on the environment and on local communities. However, a recent study by the human rights organization Amnesty International revealed that CIL is guilty of extensive human rights abuses and gross violations of international law.

In theory, coal companies are required to perform comprehensive studies of the land where they are considering building a coal mine and must work with the local people to address any concerns they may have. If the mine will displace a community, these people must consent to the move and be properly compensated. However, under CIL, the required village consultations aren’t carried out and Adivasi complaints are ignored. Furthermore, the full impacts of mining aren’t explained to the communities most affected by them.

Official notices of the government’s “intention to acquire” Adivasi land are posted in inaccessible places and there is no effort made to inform villagers lacking formal literacy education. CIL and its subsidiaries have ignored complaints from the local Adivasi communities and given little or no warning that they will be displaced. In fact, under India’s Coal Bearing Areas Act, CIL isn’t required to consult affected communities, in direct violation of international law. This shows a complete failing of India’s regulations meant to prevent human rights abuses of the Adivasi people.

The Adivasi people have lost large tracts of their traditional lands and livelihoods to CIL, without being properly consulted or compensated for their loss. This amounts to criminal neglect and human rights abuse, yet so far Adivasi protests have gone unheeded.

The Indian government is complicit in allowing CIL to destroy the lands and homes of indigenous people through poor enforcement of national and international laws. Sign the petition below to urge government officials to seek justice for the communities harmed by CIL and prevent further human rights abuses.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Shri Piyush Goyal,

Coal India Limited is in violation of the India’s Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act and Forest Rights Act, both of which require affected Adivasi communities to be consulted before their land may be acquired and used for industry. Under these acts, village assemblies must agree to rehabilitation and resettlement measures as fair compensation for their loss of lands. CIL has not conducted the mandatory reviews and consultations and has ignored the rights of the Adivasi at every turn.

Over ten million Adivasi have already lost their homes by the growing coal industry, and as CIL plans to expand and produce a billion tons of coal per year, the number of displaced Adivasi will only grow unless someone stands up for their rights.

The Indian government must hold CIL accountable for its actions and bring justice for the Adivasi communities that lost their lands and livelihoods to coal mines.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Ekta Parishad

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