• Indigenous peoples in Kenya

    Indigenous peoples in Kenya

    The indigenous peoples in Kenya include hunter-gatherers such as the Ogiek, Sengwer, Yaaku Waata and Sanya, while pastoralists include the Endorois, Turkana, Maasai, Samburu and others.
  • Peoples

    79,000 people in Kenya are hunter-gatherers.
    25 per cent of Kenya's population belong to pastoralist groups.
  • Land rights

    26 May 2017, the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights judged in favor of the Ogiek community of Kenya. The judgement was a historic victory for the Ogiek, who were acknowledged as indigenous and won both compensation from the government of Kenya and the right to stay in the Mau forest.
  • Rights

    Kenya has no specific legislation on indigenous peoples and has yet to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ratify International Labour Organization Convention 169
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  • Focus on harmful traditional practice of "Girl beading" in Kenya

Focus on harmful traditional practice of "Girl beading" in Kenya

Indigenous pastoralist women in northern Kenya, including the Samburu women, suffer from many human rights violations as both belonging to marginalized indigenous communities and as being women who are victims to various forms of harmful traditional practices.

The organization 'Samburu Women for Education & Environment Development Organization' (SWEEDO) works for the improvement of the situation of the Samburu women, and IWGIA supports them with a project addressing harmful traditional practices with a particular focus on the tradition of “Girl beading”, which entails engagement of very young girls in sexual relationships. The project seeks to facilitate community discussions on the need for changing harmful traditional practices of indigenous communities. The project is unique in the sense that it not only focuses on the girls that suffer from oppression in relation to beading, but also on how the practice is perceived by different age groups and by men in an attempt to break taboos and develop joint community solutions. The tradition of beading frequently leads to cruel forceful abortions, increases the spread of HIV/AIDS and forces the girls to leave school. As part of the project supported by IWGIA, SWEEDO has recently published a newsletter where the beading practice is for the first time highlighted and discussed.


IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. The Indigenous World 2019.

Contact IWGIA

Prinsessegade 29 B, 3rd floor
DK 1422 Copenhagen
Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
E-mail: iwgia@iwgia.org
CVR: 81294410

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