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Publications of the Moment

Recognizing August 9, 2014 as
International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
the BDRC provides

a list of recent publications related to indigenous people in Bangladesh and
some links to resources, recent news and additional information.

I. List of recent publications (on indigenous people in Bangladesh)

  • Ahmed, Kawser (2010) “Defining 'Indigenous' in Bangladesh: International Law in Domestic Context”, International
    Journal on Minority and Group Rights, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 47-73.
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) (2010) BAN: Second Crop Diversification Project (Manila, The Philippines: Asian
    Development Bank (ADB), Indigenous People's Development Planning Document, Project No. 40534-01
    (January) Draft).
  • Atiqul, Haq, S. M. (2013) Nexus between Perception, Environment and Fertility: A Study on Indigenous People in
    Bangladesh | Sustainable Development, Vol. 21, No. 6, pp. 372-384.
  • Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR) (2008) Legal and human rights of ethnic
    minorities in Bangladesh (Dhaka, Bangladesh: Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights
  • Chakma, Mangal Kumar; Pallab Chakma; and Makfie Farah (2009) “A Brief Account of the Human Rights
    Situation of the Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh”, in: Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Foundation (ed.)
    Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights Report in Asia 2008: Bangladesh - Burma - Lao (Chiang Mai, Thailand: Asia
    Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Foundation), pp. 12-61.
  • Chowdhury, Afsan (2010) “Hindus in a Polarised Political Environment: Bangladesh’s Minority”, in: Rita
    Manchanda (ed.) States in Conflict with Their Minorities -- Challenges to Minority Rights in South Asia (New Delhi
    and Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications), Chapter 4.
  • Erni, Christian (2008) Concept of indigenous peoples in Asia : a resource book (Copenhagen, Denmark:
    International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)).
  • Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh (GoB), Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development
    and Cooperatives--Local Government Engineering Department (2008) Preparing the Participatory Small-Scale
    Water Resources Project III (Manila, The Philippines: Asian Development Bank (ADB), Indigenous Peoples
    Development Planning Document (Draft), Project No. 39432 (October)).
  • Gunter, Bernhard G.; Atiq Rahman; and A. F. M. Ataur Rahman (2008) “How Vulnerable are Bangladesh’s
    Indigenous People to Climate Change?”, Falls Church, VA, USA: Bangladesh Development Research Center
    (BDRC), Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series (BDRWPS), BDRWPS No. 1 (April); available
    at: http://www.bangladeshstudies. org/files/WPS_no1-rev2.pdf.
  • Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (2009) Bangladesh: Indigenous people and religious minorities still
    affected by displacement (Geneva, Switzerland: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Norwegian
    Refugee Council, July); available at: (httpInfoFiles)
  • International Labour Office (2009) The ILO Convention on Indigenous and Tribal Populations, 1957 (No. 107)
    and the laws of Bangladesh: a comparative review (Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Office (ILO)).
  • Islam, Kabirul (2010) Indigenous People of Bangladesh (Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Viewbook B.V.; Photostory
    2010); available at: bangladesh/.
  • Irfanullah, H. M. and M. A. Motaleb (2011) “Reading nature's mind: Disaster management by indigenous peoples
    of Bangladesh”, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 80-90.
  • Islam, M. R. and J. O. Odland (2011) “Determinants of antenatal and postnatal care visits among Indigenous
    people in Bangladesh: a study of the Mru community”, Rural and Remote Health, Vol. 11, Online Journal, Article
    No. 1672; available at:
  • Jamil, Ishtiaq and Pranab Kumar Panday (2008) “The Elusive Peace Accord in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of
    Bangladesh and the Plight of the Indigenous People”, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Vol. 46, No. 4,
    pp. 464-489.
  • Kabir, Mohammed Mahbubul (2009) "Let's go back to go forward" : history and practice of schooling in the
    indigenous communities in Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh (Tromsø, Norway: University of Tromsø, Master's
    thesis in indigenous studies).
  • Kadir M.F., Bin Sayeed M.S., Mia M.M.K. (2012) Ethnopharmacological survey of medicinal plants used by
    indigenous and tribal people in Rangamati, Bangladesh | Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 144, No. 3, pp. 627-
  • Manchanda, Rita (ed.) (2010) States in Conflict with Their Minorities -- Challenges to Minority Rights in South
    Asia (New Delhi, India and Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage Publications).
  • Minority Rights Group International (2008) World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Bangladesh:
    Adivasis (London, United Kingdom: Minority Rights Group International); available at: http: //www.unhcr.
  • Mohsin, Amena (2010) “Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh: Justice denied”, in: Rita Manchanda (ed.) States in
    Conflict with Their Minorities -- Challenges to Minority Rights in South Asia (New Delhi and Thousand Oaks: Sage
    Publications), Chapter 5.
  • Oxfam GB (2008) “Finding a Voice for the Voiceless: Indigenous people gain recognition in Bangladesh”, in:
    Oxfam GB (ed.) Speaking Out: How the voices of poor people are shaping the future (London, UK: Oxfam GB).
  • Rahman, M. Ashiqur (2007) “Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord in Bangladesh: Reconciling the Issues of
    Human Rights, Indigenous Rights and Environmental Governance”, in: M. Faizul Islam and Syed Saad Andaleeb
    (eds.) Development Issues of Bangladesh-III: Human Development and Quality of Life (Dhaka, Bangladesh:
    University Press Ltd.), pp. 355-378.
  • Sarker, Profulla and Gareth Davey (2009) “Exclusion of indigenous children from primary education in the
    Rajshahi Division of northwestern Bangladesh”, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Vol. 13, No. 1
    (February), pp. 1-11.
  • Sharmeen, S. (2013) Politics of development and articulation of indigenous identity: The formation of munda
    identity in Barind, Bangladesh | International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 141-160.
  • Singh, Deepak K. (2010) Stateless in South Asia --The Chakmas between Bangladesh and India (New Delhi,
    India and Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage Publications).
  • Taneja, Preti (ed.) and Felix Corley, Jared Ferrie, David Fickling and Farah Mihlar (section authors) (2010) State
    of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2010 - Events of 2009 ( London, United Kingdom: Minority
    Rights Group International (July)), especially pp. 114-116.
  • Uddin, Ala (2013) Dynamics of Survival Strategies: Perspectives from the Indigenous People of the Chittagong
    Hill Tracts, Bangladesh | Journal of Bangladesh Studies, Vol. 15, No.1 (published in April 2014), pp. 50-62.
  • World Bank (2008) Bangladesh - indigenous/tribal population and access to secondary schools (draft),
    Washington, DC, USA: World Bank, Report No. IPP280 (Indigenous Peoples Plan, April).
II. Further internet resources (on indigenous people in Bangladesh)

  • Indigenous People of Bangladesh (Photostory by Islam, Kabirul)

  • Bangladesh website of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) at:

  • Bangladesh website of Oxfam Australia at:

  • Strengthening Education with Indigenous Languages in Bangladesh: Video Report

  • World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples (Updated May 2008)

III. Some Basic Information on Indigenous People in Bangladesh
(as provided at Virtual Bangladesh)
Note: The numbers provided may be out of date and should be considered to be indicative only.

Bangladesh’s tribal population consists of about 1 million people, just under 1 percent of the
total population. They live primarily in the Chittagong Hills and in the regions of Mymensingh,
Sylhet, and Rajshahi. The majority of the tribal population (778,425) live in rural settings,
where many practice shifting cultivation. Most tribal people are of SinoTibetan descent and
has distinctive Mongoloid features. They differ in their social organization, marriage customs,
birth and death rites, food, and other social customs from the people of the rest of the country.
They speak Tibeto-Burman languages. In the mid-1980s, the percentage distribution of tribal
population by religion was Hindu 24, Buddhist 44, Christian 13, and others 19.

The four largest tribes are the Chakmas, Marmas (or Maghs), Tipperas (or Tipras), and Mros
(or Moorangs). The tribes tend to intermingle and could be distinguished from one another
more by differences in their dialect, dress, and customs than by tribal cohesion. Only the
Chakmas and Marmas display formal tribal organization, although all groups containe distinct
clans. By far the largest tribe, the Chakmas are of mixed origin but reflect more Bengali
influence than any other tribe. Unlike the other tribes, the Chakmas and Marmas generally
live in the highland valleys. Most Chakmas are Buddhists, but some practiced Hinduism or