The 40th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights took place in Banjul, The Gambia from 15 – 29 November 2006

The 40th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) was attended by a large number of delegates representing African states, African and international national human rights institutions, intergovernmental organisations as well as African and international NGOs. IWGIA facilitated and supported the participation of 6 indigenous representatives.

During the session, the periodic reports of Uganda and Nigeria were examined, and during both examinations questions regarding indigenous peoples' human rights situation were raised.

Some of the questions posed were based on the supplementary reports produced by FPP, CEMIRIDE and IWGIA.

The participation of indigenous representatives in the ACHPR sessions positively contributes to raising awareness of indigenous peoples' human rights and violations thereof. Under the agenda item on the human rights situation in Africa, the following organisations made statements vis-à-vis indigenous peoples' situation:

  • MPIDO, Kenya
  • IPACC, South Africa
  • FPP – United Kingdom

Under the agenda item on the report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa, the following organisations made statements:

  • MBOSCUDA, Cameroon
  • MPIDO, Kenya
  • IWGIA
  • ADHUC, Republic of Congo
  • FPP/UOBDU, United Kingdom/Uganda
  • UNIPROBA, Burundi

To read the statements click here.

Many of these statements highlighted the importance of the work carried out by the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa, and congratulated the Working Group on its achievements so far.

The Chair of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities, Commissioner Rezag-Bara, presented the Working Group's inter-session report. This report outlines the activities the Working Group has undertaken between the 39th and 40th ACHPR session. The reporting included the following activities: a successful sensitisation seminar for the Central African region on the rights of indigenous peoples; a workshop on the scope, methodology and time frame for the research project on African constitutions and legislation and the extent to which they protect indigenous peoples' rights; the publication of a summary version of the Working Group's expert report on the rights of indigenous peoples; and Comm Rezag Bara's participation in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York in May 2006.

The Working Group has the following plans for its future activities:

- Country mission to Tanzania

- Information and research visits to Algeria, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and the Central African Republic

- Publication and distribution of the Arabic version of the expert report

- Publication of the reports from country missions and research and information visits

- Continue distributing the expert report and the recently published summary version

Read the Progress report for the ACHPR Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa, from the period between 39th and 40th ordinary sessions of the ACHPR

For more information about the ACHPR you can visit ACHPR's website at: http://www.achpr.org

Visit also the website of The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies at: http://www.acdhrs.org