50th session, October 2011

The 50th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The 50th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), held in Banjul, The Gambia, 24 October until 5 November 2011, was attended by 373 participants representing African State delegates, national human rights institutions,  intergovernmental organizations as well as African and international NGOs. IWGIA facilitated the participation of 8 indigenous representatives and experts.

Statements

The participations of indigenous representatives and experts in the ACHPR sessions remain 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 organizations made statement on indigenous’ human rights situation:

  • The UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), on the mechanisms and possibilities of collaboration with the African Commission and its Working Group on Indigenous Populations.
  • UNIPROBA, Burundi, on the situation of the Batwa of Burundi.
  • Minority Rights Group in collaboration with the Endorois Welfare Council, Kenya, on the implementation of the ACHPR endorois ruling.
  • COPORWA, Rwanda, on the situation of the Batwa peoples of Rwanda.
  • Legal Resource Center, South Africa on access tom land and natural resources management as well as free prior and inform consent of the loca communities.

Under the Agenda item on the activity report of the Working Group on indigenous Populations / Communities in Africa, the following organization made statement:

  • Kenya National Human Rights Commission, Kenya, on the situation of indigenous peoples in Kenya, their gains with the new constitution, the endorois ruling and the KNHRC’s work on indigenous peoples’ rights.

Under the agenda item on the activity report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of women in Africa, the following organizations made statements

  • UNIPROBA, Burundi, on the situation of indigenous women in Burundi.
  • Arid Lands Institute, Kenya, on violation of women rights in Ethiopia

Under the agenda item on the activity report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and access to information, the following organizations made statements:

Examination of state reports

In conformity with article 62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the periodic report of Burundi, Togo and Nigeria were examined during the session.  IWGIA and other partner organizations also contributed with background information and alternative reports that provide an alternative source of information and assist the ACHPR’s commissioners in asking substantiated critical questions on indigenous peoples during the constructive dialogue with the state and in the drafting of the concluding observations. An alternative report and some questions on Burundi were prepared by UNIPROBA.

Presentation of the Progress Report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations / Communities

The Working Group’s activity report for the inter-session period between the 49th and the 50th session.

Adoption of country visit reports

The research and information visit report of the Republic of Kenya was adopted by the ACHPR during its private session. The reports will be published before the 51st session.

Adoption of Resolution

The African Commission adopted the resolution on the protection of indigenous peoples’ rights in the context of the World Heritage Convention and the designation of Lake Bogoria as a World Heritage site. Please find here the resolution.

Renewal of mandate of the Working Group on Indigenous populations / Communities and new members

The mandate of the Working Group was renewed during the 50th Ordinary session of the African Commission and Commissioner Soyata Maiga was nominated as the new Chair of the Working Group.

In addition, two new commissioners were appointed as new members of the Working Group. They are:

  • Commissioner Pacifique Manirakiza form Burundi
  • Commissioner Lucy Asouagbor from Cameroon

Commissioner Musa Ngary Bitaye and Commissioner Mumba Malila are no longer commissioners at the African Commission.

For more information, please find here IWGIA 50th session report