History of ILWP


ILWP-launch_GuyanaOn 5th April 2009, the anniversary of the Day of Hope 1961, which commemorates the New Guinea Parliament in 1961, International Lawyers for West Papua (ILWP) was launched.

The ILWP’s mission is to help the indigenous peoples of West Papua to exercise their right to self-determination under international law. ILWP was launched in Guyana, South America.
Speaking, from Georgetown, Melinda Janki, co-founder of ILWP, said the ILWP could have been launched anywhere in the world but that Guyana was selected because “40 years ago, Guyana was one of a tiny number of countries that voted in support of West Papua’s freedom and its right to self-determinationWest Papuans have since been denied their fundamental right to choose freedom from colonial rule. Today, West Papua is still a colony. The annexation by Indonesia was a terrible violation of West Papua’s right to self-determination. ILWP is working to redress that wrong.”

Also present at the launch was Colin Andrews, Chair of the National Toshaos Council and head of all indigenous peoples in Guyana. He pledged support for ILWP in it’s work to help bring about self-determination for the people of West Papua.

Following the launch Benny Wenda was invited to visit Amerindian communities and share his experiences with them. Throughout his visit Amerindian leaders and their communities raised the Morning Star flag in solidarity with their indigenous brothers and sisters in West Papua and pledged their support for their struggle.