The 42nd session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The 42nd session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) was attended by a large number of African state delegates, national human rights institutions, intergovernmental organisations as well as African and international NGOs. Over 500 people participated in the session, and IWGIA facilitated the participation of eight indigenous representatives.

In conformity with Article 62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the periodic reports of Algeria, Tunisia and Rwanda were examined during the session. During the examination of Algeria some questions were posed regarding the state’s recognition of Amazigh language and culture, whilst during the examination of Rwanda many questions were raised about the state position on ethnicity and indigenous peoples’ situation.

The participation of indigenous representatives in the ACHPR sessions remains very important, as it contributes to raising all participants’ awareness of indigenous peoples’ human rights. Under the agenda item on the human rights situation in Africa, the following organisations made statements on indigenous peoples’ human rights situation:

  • FPP/COPORWA, United Kingdom/Rwanda
  • IWGIA
  • IPACC, South Africa
  • Anti-Slavery International, United Kingdom
  • MPIDO, Kenya

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

  • UNIPROBA, Burundi
  • FPP, United Kingdom
  • MRG, United Kingdom
  • MPIDO, Kenya
  • IWGIA
  • OCDH, Republic of Congo
  • ADHUC, Republic of Congo
  • CED, Cameroon
  • IPACC, South Africa

Statements regarding indigenous peoples’ human rights situation were also made under the following three agenda items:

The Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, statement presented by FPP/CAMV, United Kingdom

The Report of of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa, statement presented by FPP, United Kingdom

Commissioner Bitaye presented the Working Group’s report for the inter-session period between the 41st and 42nd session. The reporting included some of the following activities: the publication of the Advisory Opinion on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the publication of the Working Group’s summary report in Portuguese, a seminar for East African journalists and a country visit to Gabon.

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

Organise a media seminar for journalist in the Central African region

Organise a media seminar for journalists in Tanzania

Publish the Working Group’s report in Arabic

Publish the remaining reports of the Working Group’s country visits

Continue distribution of all the Working Group’s publications

Continue developing the Working Group’s website with new publications and information

Continue involvement in the joint research project with the ILO

Please see the Working Group's official Progress Report for further information about the activities between the 41st and 42nd ACHPR session.

Comuniqué welcoming the adoption of the UN declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

It is important also to highlight here that the African Commission issued a communiqué during the 42 session welcoming the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The communiqué underlines the fact that the UN Declaration is in line with the African Commission's work on indigenous peoples' rights, and that the Declaration will become a valuable tool in the African Commission's continued efforts to promote and protect indigenous peoples' rights in Africa.

Please refer to this website's pages on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for further information about the Declaration.

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