1233730_Roche,G_2023.pdf (609.6 kB)
The politics of fear and the suppression of Indigenous language activism in Asia: Prospects for the United Nations’ Decade of Indigenous Languages
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-21, 04:40 authored by Gerald RocheGerald Roche, Madoka Hammine, Jesus Federico C Hernandez, Jess Kruk
This article discusses how state suppression of human rights activism and restrictions on civil society are likely to impact the implementation of the United Nations’ International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022–2032, hereafter “the Decade”). We focus on China, India, and Indonesia, the three most populous and linguistically diverse countries in Asia. Drawing on a range of reports from human rights organizations and materials from academic literature, we argue that increasing attacks on human rights defenders and restrictions on civil society are likely to pose serious challenges to the implementation of the Decade in these countries. We situate this argument within broader debates about human rights advocacy and state repression, and draw on Guzel Yusupova’s arguments about the politics of fear and minority language mobilization to suggest that intensifying state repression of human rights is likely to prevent new forms of Indigenous language advocacy from emerging during the Decade.