The land rights of indigenous peoples and human rights of minority communities were discussed in Kampala, Uganda on 4th March 2011 during the first East Africa Regional Dialogue on Minority Community Rights. The event came as a result of the collaboration of many national and international organisations including the United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda, Forest Peoples Programme, Minority Rights Group International, Institute for Law & Environmental Governance, Uganda Land Alliance and Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment. The dialogue was attended by representatives of indigenous peoples and minority communities from throughout the East African region as well as government and civil society organisations from Uganda and Kenya. Honoured guests included the Minister of State for Gender and Culture from Uganda and the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, former Commissioner of the African Commission Bahame Tom Nyanduga, representatives from the African Commission’s Working Group of Experts on Indigenous Populations/Communities, as well as indigenous leaders from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania.
This Briefing was produced with the support of a grant from the Ford Foundation
This briefing paper provides an overview of the African system for the protection of human and peoples’ rights. This system is based upon the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights and implemented through the African Commission of the same name. While this system suffers from a number of deficiencies, particularly related to the Commission’s lack of enforcement powers and qualifications to the rights recognised in the African Charter, it is nonetheless a tool that may be of use to Indigenous peoples and organizations in Africa. While an explanation of the procedure for filing a complaint with the Commission is provided here, this briefing paper should not be considered as a complete explanation of the process.