This book is a co-production between the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. It is a report drawn up by a working group established by the African Commission. It addresses the reasons why and the means by which the African Commission should deal with the protection and promotion of the human rights of indigenous peoples in Africa.
The book analyses the precarious human rights situation of indigenous peoples in Africa that calls for the urgent intervention of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Special emphasis is put on analysing violations of rights to land and productive resources, experiences of discrimination, denial of justice, violations of cultural rights, denial of constitutional, legislative and political recognition and marginalisation from social services. The analysis provides concrete examples of experiences of indigenous groups from all parts of Africa. A section of the book is also devoted to a discussion of the possible criteria for identifying indigenous peoples in Africa as this is an issue that is constantly raised in debates.
The book goes on to analyse the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and its jurisprudence on the concept of “Peoples”. It takes the view that as the African Charter recognises collective rights, formulated as rights of “peoples”, these rights should be available to sections of populations within nation states, including indigenous peoples and communities. It demonstrates that the African Commission has started to interpret the term “peoples” in a manner that should allow indigenous peoples to claim protection by the collective provisions of the Charter.
Finally a number of recommendations for concrete action are given to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.