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Indigenous delegates denied visas to Sweden because they are too poor and can disappear in the crowd

Saturday, 18 June 2011
Several people who would have participated in a international Folks Conference or Conference of Indigenous people in Jokkmokk in Sweden have been denied visa to Sweden on the grounds that they are too poor and that they will disappear in the crowd while here in Sweden. These particularly hit through hearts of the delegates from countries such as Ethiopia, Cameroon and Niger.

Right now, the conference where indigenous people from around the world have gathered to discuss food, climate and sustainable living in harmony with nature is rolling on in Sweden but without delegates from some parts of the world just because the Swedish  authorities saw that these delegate were too poor to fit in the Swedish wealthy arena.

The Swedish embassy's denial several delegates from countries such as Ethiopia, Cameroon and Niger entrance into Sweden and it now casts a shadow over the conference itself as the question being asked now is if delegates from indigenous places cannot come then who are those attending the conference and how does the conference meet its international objectives.


Ol Johan Sikku, president of Slow Food S�pmi and the main organizer, is concerned about the way the authorities treat people of minority
“The decisions mean that we as indigenous people can not meet and exchange our experiences and run our affairs. I think it's serious.”

It also holds that Sweden is now in breach of the Article 36 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It states that indigenous peoples, especially those who are divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, and that States shall facilitate the exercise of this right.

Andrea Carmen working with indigenous peoples' rights, particularly in the U.S., was present at the UN when Sweden signed the 2007 declaration.
She says to radio Sweden that what is now occurring will be addressed in the UN Human Rights Council. Also that it is not the first time Sweden violates such aspects of the conventions.
“Sweden has received much criticism from the UN agencies, have already been given notices that they do not comply with these conventions. This is just another example were Sweden has managed to market itself as democratic country, but reality shows otherwise,” says Ol Johan Sikku to radio Sweden.

By Scancomrk.se Team

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