As we celebrate this auspicious day, the question that should be uppermost in our minds is what we have done to date to improve the welfare of these over 370 millions individuals living in more than 70 countries distributed in all regions of the world.
For almost a decade, the rights of indigenous peoples have been a regular feature on the human rights discourse of the African Commission. Among other things, the African Commission has set up a Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa; it has opened dialogue in important areas; and it has undertaken various missions to witness firsthand the conditions of life and work of indigenous populations/communities in Africa.
Through partnerships with indigenous NGOs and Member States, the concerns of indigenous peoples on the continent have been brought to the limelight, giving stakeholders and partners an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution on how to ameliorate their situation.
The African Commission wishes to use the opportunity of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples to call for concerted action by all stakeholders to ensure promotion and protection of the human rights of indigenous populations/communities.