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Reverse migration of tribal migrants after lockdown could destroy indigenous communities”, IWGIA & ILAI joint study

COPENHAGEN/NEW DELHI: In a joint study, “COVID-19 in India: Reverse migration could destroy indigenous communities” (https://www.iwgia.org/en/news-alerts/news-covid-19/3549-covid-19-india-reverse-migration.html), International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) based in Denmark and Indigenous Lawyers Association of India (ILAI) stated that reverse migration of indigenous peoples in the post lockdown period could destroy India’s tribal communities largely concentrated in ten states and in the North-Eastern region. 

“The Report of the Expert Committee on Tribal Health of the Government of India in December 2018 had stated that almost 55% of India 104 million tribal population live outside the 809 tribal majority blocks. Hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples including from the North East migrated to the metropolis, primarily to work in unorganized sectors, in the post liberalization period. As COVID-19 destroys economies and absence of jobs, homes and food loom large; these indigenous migrant