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Stateless sea gypsies in Bangsamoro coastlines: Understanding the Sama Bajau ethnic tribe in the Philippines

Moreno, Frede (2023): Stateless sea gypsies in Bangsamoro coastlines: Understanding the Sama Bajau ethnic tribe in the Philippines. Published in:

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This research paper investigates the socio-political and cultural dynamics surrounding the Sama Bajau ethnic tribe, commonly referred to as "stateless sea gypsies," residing along the coastlines of the Bangsamoro region in the Philippines. By employing a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses anthropology, sociology, and public administration, this study provides a comprehensive understanding of the historical, socio-cultural, and political contexts that contribute to the statelessness of the Sama Bajau community. Drawing on a thorough examination of existing literature, empirical data analysis, and field observations, this research reveals the challenges confronted by the Sama Bajau, including limited access to essential services, landlessness, marginalization, and the preservation of their cultural heritage. Moreover, it explores the intricate relationship between state policies, local governance structures, and the resilient cultural practices of the Sama Bajau. In light of these findings, this study presents a set of policy recommendations aimed at addressing the plight of the Sama Bajau tribe. These proposals advocate for the recognition of their rights to cultural identity and land, the provision of basic social services, and the implementation of inclusive strategies to enhance their active involvement in decision-making processes.

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