BLOG: “Without our forest, we have no life, we disappear”

A member of one of Cameroon’s Baka Communities in the Ngoyla Mintom area, talks about being driven out of his ancestral forests, and the issues his people face on a daily basis through lack of land rights and lack of access to food, medicine and education.

Alternative Report to the 11th 12th 13th Periodic Reports of the DRC

In accordance with Article 62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, States Parties to the Charter are required to submit every two years, a report on the legislative or other measures taken, with a view to giving effect to the rights and freedoms recognised and guaranteed by the Charter.

Indigenous women in Central Africa “increasingly vulnerable” when it comes to access to land

A wide-ranging discussion on the rights of indigenous women in Africa was held last Sunday at the 59th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human Rights and Peoples Rights.  The panel, organised by the Commission’s Working Group on Indigenous Populations, looked at different aspects, including access to services, barriers to participation in decision-making and harmful traditional practices.

Toolkit on Indigenous women's rights in Africa

Forest Peoples Programme has created this toolkit to help indigenous women in Africa to better understand the African human rights system and how to use it effectively to secure their rights.

Letter to UNESCO reiterating concerns over the designation of the Lake Bogoria site as a World Heritage Site without obtaining the FPIC of the Endorois

The Endorois Welfare Council, IWGIA, Minority Rights Group and Forest Peoples Programme have written to UNESCO to express their continued concerns over the designation of the Lake Bogoria site (in Kenya) as a World Heritage Site without obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of the Endorois, who are the rightful owners of the land in and around the site. 

Protection of the right to land, territory and natural resources in regional and international law in Africa: A Toolkit for NGOs in the Democratic Republic of Congo

This toolkit provides information on the protection of the right to land, territories and natural resources in international and regional law in Africa. Its aim is to provide NGOs with concise and accessible information about the legal framework that exists for the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in DRC with regard to their lands, territories and natural resources. It also provides useful information on the international and regional mechanisms which NGOs, and the indigenous peoples and local communities they work with, can use in order to claim their rights and advocate for the DRC government to respect its legal obligations at the international and regional level. 

As experiências de povos indígenas da África com as políticas de salvaguarda: Exemplos do Camarões e da Bacia do Congo

A noção de indígena é geralmente algo polêmico na África. Existem opiniões que consideram todos os africanos como indígenas liberados dos poderes coloniais, enquanto outras simplesmente destacam que é muito difícil determinar quem é indígena na África. A criação, em 2001, do Grupo de Trabalho sobre as Populações/Comunidades Indígenas da Comissão Africana dos Direitos Humanos e dos Povos (ACHPR na sigla em inglês) e o relatório do Grupo, enviado à Comissão e aprovado em 2003, trouxeram uma nova perspectiva à esta questão. Nesse relatório, pela primeira vez, houve uma aceitação unânime da existência de povos indígenas na África, o que levou ao debate de como os países poderiam começar a integrar os direitos desses povos na esfera de direitos humanos. A maioria dos povos indígenas da África Central são povos caçadores-coletores, comumente conhecidos como “Pigmeus”, e povos pastores. Estes povos ainda sofrem discriminação por meio da desapropriação das suas terras e a destruição dos seus meios de vida, culturas e identidades, extrema pobreza, falta de acesso e participação nas decisões políticas e falta de acesso à educação e centros de saúde.

African Commission: FPIC is essential for protected status on indigenous lands

At its 50th Session, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) adopted a resolution condemning the recent decision of the World Heritage Committee to inscribe Lake Bogoria in Kenya on the World Heritage List.  The issue at stake was the almost complete lack of involvement of the Endorois (the indigenous owners of the territory) in the decision-making process. This is particularly problematic in light of the African Commission’s earlier decision on the case of Centre for Minority Rights Development (Kenya) and Minority Rights Group International on behalf of Endorois Welfare Council v Kenya adopted at the 46th Ordinary Session held from 11–25 November 2009 in Banjul, The Gambia, and endorsed by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union in February 2010. This earlier decision and the recent resolution both emphasize that the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) must be adhered to in the lands and territories of indigenous peoples.  Failing to involve indigenous peoples in decision-making processes and failing to obtain Free, Prior and Informed Consent constitutes a violation of their right to development under Article 22 of the African Charter, and other international laws.