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Tanzania: Article on Indigenous Peoples Legal Rights

December 1 2012
TUMA law review has published an article on indigenous peoples rights in the national context of Tanzania and in an international context.

In Tanzania the term indigenous is still contested even though the concept “indigenous peoples” is generally used in an African context to denote structural relationships of inequlity that have persisted after the attainment of political independence.

Despite this contestation, some of the United Nations Treaty Bodies, The African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights as well as the Working Group on the Universal Periodical Review (UPR) have contributed to the advancement of indigenous peoples rights jurisprudence in Tanzania thereby paving the way for the recognition of indigenous peoples rights in the country.

This article reviews why these contributions and recognition of indigenous peoples is vital for Tanzania to fulfil its human rights treaty obligations.

Groups that self identify as “indigenous peoples” have secured prominent spaces within the United Nations Human Rights system. This is seen through the establishment of three different mandates for the promotion and protection of indigenous peoples rights namely the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNFPII), the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNEMRIP) and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples.