Final Communiqué on the National Dialogue on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Extractive Industries, 27 to 28 November 2018, Kampala, Uganda

    1. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) through its Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa (the Working Group) in collaboration with the Uganda Human Rights Commission and the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, organized a National Dialogue on the Impact of Extractive Industries on Indigenous Communities, from 27 to 28 November 2018 in Kampala, Uganda.
    1. The National Dialogue was attended by 62 participants representing:

    Ø  The Working Group, represented by its Chairperson, Honorable  Commissioner  Soyata Maiga, and expert members Dr Melakou Tegegn,  Ms. Marianne Jensen, Ms Hawe Bouba, and Mr. Lounes Belkacem  assisted by Ms. Anita Bagona;

    Ø  the Government of Uganda represented by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, and the Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee of the Uganda Parliament, Honorable Jovah Kamateeka;

    Ø  The Uganda National Human Rights Commission;

    Ø  Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC);

    Ø  Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) Secretariat;

    Ø  Indigenous organizations, civil society organizations based in Uganda; and the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs; and

    Ø  The media.

    1. The opening ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials. Speeches were delivered by Dr Melakou Tegegn, Expert member of the Working Group, the Indigenous communities Representative, Mr Simon Lomoe Peter Lokure, the Chairperson of the African Commission and Chairperson of the Working Group, Honorable Commissioner Soyata Maiga, the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), Honorable Med S.K. Kaggwa, and the Acting Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission representing the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms Zaminah Malole.
    1. The National Dialogue was aimed at launching, popularizing and widely disseminating the Study on Extractive Industries, Land Rights and Indigenous Populations/Communities Rights of the Working Group; engaging with relevant stakeholders particularly state and non-state entities on the findings of the Study; and finding a common ground and deliberate on ways and means of elaborating an action plan and creating mechanisms for the implementation of the recommendations made by the Study.
    1. Several themes were extensively discussed, including:

    -          The main findings and conclusions of the Study;

    -          The perspectives of the Government, indigenous peoples, the Uganda  Human Rights Commission and NGOs on the impact of extractive industries on indigenous communities in Uganda;

    -          The principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and  international and regional mechanisms, safeguards and voluntary guidelines; and

    -          Recommendations of the Study.

     

    1. Presentations were followed by constructive dialogues on the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Study.
    1. Working groups were formed to brainstorm on the recommendations of the Study and to formulate a national Plan of Action for the implementation of the recommendations of the Study.
    1. The following recommendations were made at the conclusion of the National Dialogue:

    To the Government of Uganda

    Ø  The Parliament, the Ministry of Justice and the Uganda Law Reform Commission should expedite the enactment of the Social Impact Assessment and Accountability Bill;

    Ø  Government together with mining companies should develop and implement national public participation and consultation models for affected populations including indigenous communities based on the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC);

    Ø  Adopt international standards in recognizing, promoting and protecting the rights of Indigenous Populations in the country;

    Ø  Integrate the traditional knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples into policies and programs to mitigate the impact of climate change in Uganda;

    Ø  Share information with indigenous communities on a regular and continuous basis and in a transparent manner;

    Ø  Ensure that there is an adequate access to justice for IPs and provide training to them on the same.

    To the Uganda Human Rights Commission

    Ø  Establish a National Task Force with clear terms of reference to ensure follow up and implementation of the study’s recommendations. The Task Force should be comprised of stakeholders including relevant Government Officials, indigenous peoples, civil society organizations, and extractive industries representatives;

    Ø  Include a chapter on the situation of Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in its annual report on the state of Human Rights of Uganda;

    Ø  Build the capacity of indigenous peoples so that they can file complaints before it when their  rights are violated;

    Ø  Ensure that the draft National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights takes into account the issues and concerns of indigenous peoples.

    To the Civil Society Organizations

    Ø  Popularize and widely disseminate the Study’s findings and recommendations to all including Government and indigenous peoples;

    Ø  Lobby for the recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights to land and resources in national laws, policies and processes, and for the implementation of relevant recommendations in the Study;

    Ø  Take lead in identifying the needs of indigenous peoples in Uganda;

    Ø  Using the leadership and guidance of indigenous populations for strengthening their relationship with CSOs.

    To Business Enterprises

    Ø  Apply the Human Rights Based Approach to development for instance by consulting affected communities in the planning, design and execution of new projects;

    Ø  Comply with and observe the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent in the development and implementation of all projects related to extractive industries so that the rights of IPs are protected and promoted.

    To Indigenous Communities

    Ø  Create a national network to push for the implementation of the Study’s Recommendations; 

    Ø  Use the network for the promotion and protection of their rights, including preventing them from arbitrary evictions from their ancestral land;

    Ø  Lodge human rights complaints to the UHRC;

    Ø  Lobby for their indigenous traditional governance systems to be recognized and integrated within the existing laws and policies of the government;

    Ø  Lobby for their customary laws to be consistently respected by all projects and activities of concern to indigenous populations;

    Ø  Work to build and strengthen the capacity of their people and institutions especially the youth and women;

    Ø  Use  indigenous knowledge in land and forest resources managements;

    Ø  Form social movement and active network among  indigenous populations of Uganda so as to ensure that their rights are better promoted and protected.

    Done at Kampala, Uganda, 28th November 2018

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