41st session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights,

The 41st session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) took place in Accra in Ghana from 16 – 30 May 2007. The session was attended by a large number of African state delegates, African and international human rights institutions, intergovernmental organisations as well as African and international NGOs. Nearly 500 people participated, and IWGIA facilitated the participation of seven indigenous representatives in the session. The participation of indigenous representatives in the ACHPR sessions remains very important, as it substantially contributes to raising the awareness of indigenous peoples’ human rights situation.

During the session, the initial reports of Kenya and Zambia were examined, and likewise was the periodic report of Zimbabwe. During the state examination of Kenya, a number of questions regarding indigenous peoples’ situation were raised, some of which were based on a supplementary report produced by a coalition of Kenyan NGOs.

Statements on indigenous peoples' human rights situation

Under the agenda item on the human rights situation in Africa, the following organisations made statements on indigenous peoples’ human rights situation (use the links below to download the statements in pdf format):

  • MRG, United Kingdom
  • CEMIRIDE, Kenya (not available)
  • ADHUC, Republic of Congo (in French)
  • MPIDO, Kenya
  • IMPACT, Kenya
  • UNIPROBA, Burundi (in French)
  • UN OHCHR, Switzerland (not available)

Report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities

The Chair of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities, Commissioner Rezag-Bara, presented the Working Group’s inter-session report. This report outlined the activities the Working Group has undertaken between the 40th and 41st ACHPR session. The reporting included the following activities: the publication of the reports from the research and information visits to the Republic of Burundi and Republic of Congo; the Working Group’s adoption of the reports from the research and information visits to the Central African Republic and Uganda; distribution of the Working Group’s report and summary report; Commissioner Rezag Bara’s participation in the UN’s expert seminar on minority rights in Washington D.C. and Mr. Kalimba’s participation in a conference on indigenous peoples’ human rights in Impfondo (in the Republic of Congo), hosted by the government of the Republic of Congo.

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

- Country missions to Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania

- Research and information visits to Burkina Faso and Gabon

- Continue the distribution of the Working Group’s expert report and the summary version

- Continue to update the database of organisations working on indigenous issues in Africa

- Publish the Working Group’s expert report in Arabic

- Publish the reports from the missions and research & information visits to Botswana, Namibia, Niger and Libya

- Publish the report from the regional sensitisation seminar held in Cameroon

- Conduct a training seminar for journalists in Eastern Africa

Read the Progress Report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations / Communities for further information about the Working Group’s activities between the 40th and 41st ACHPR sessions.

Under the agenda item on the report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa, the following organisations made statements (use the links below to download in pdf format):

  • IMPACT, Kenya (not available)
  • IPACC, South Africa (in French)
  • FPP, United Kingdom
  • MPIDO, Kenya
  • IWGIA

Discussion on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

For the first time, the ACHPR agenda also included an item on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration). This was intended to allow the ACHPR to hear the views of its member states, affiliated bodies and other organisations with observer status. A constructive debate took place regarding the UN Declaration, and the Working Group’s Chairperson responded very well to all the questions and remarks made.

The following organisations made statements on the UN Declaration:

  • MRG, United Kingdom
  • IWGIA
  • IPACC, South Africa (in French)
  • ADHUC, Republic of Congo (not available)
  • Cameroon Environmental Protection Association, Cameroon (not available)
  • FPP, United Kingdom

For further information about the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, go to the UN Declaration pages on this website.

For more information about the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights please visit the ACHPR's website at: http://www.achpr.org