The 43rd session of African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
The 43rd session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) held in Swaziland, 7-22 May 2008, was attended by African states delegates, national human rights institutions, intergovernmental organizations as well as African and international NGOs. 450 people participated in the session, and IWGIA facilitated the participation of eight indigenous representatives.
In conformity with article 62 of the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the periodic reports of Sudan and Tanzania were examined during the session. Questions were raised on the situation of indigenous peoples in Sudan and Tanzania. Also, Community Research and Development Status (CORDS) had, in consultation with other NGOs in Tanzania and IWGIA, prepared a shadow report to Tanzania’s periodic report.
The participation of indigenous representatives in ACHPR sessions remains very important, as it contributes to raisin all participants’ awareness of indigenous peoples’ human rights situation. Under the agenda item on the report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations / Communities in Africa, the following organizations made statements:
- IWGIA in collaboration with CORDS from Tanzania
- Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) in collaboration with Centre d’Accompagnement des Autochtones Pygmées et Minoritaires Vulnérables (CAMV) from Democratcic Republic of Congo
- COPORWA from Rwanda
Commissioner Bitaye presented the Working Group’s report for the inner session period between the 42nd and the 43rd session. The reporting included some of the following activities: the publication of the reports from country visits to Botswana, Namibia and Niger, two sensitization seminars for journalists on indigenous peoples’ rights, one in Tanzania, the other one in Rwanda, the re-printing of the Englis/French version of the African Commission’s report on the rights of indigenous populations.
The Working Group has the following plans for its future activities:
- Organizing a big sensitization seminar in autumn 2008 with AU funding
- Carrying out a country mission to Burkina Faso
- Publishing reports from the research and information visits to Uganda, the Central African Republic and Libya
- Continue the distribution of all the Working Group’s publications
- Continue developing the Working Group’s website with new publications and information
- Continue involvement with the joint research project with ILO and the University of Pretoria