51: Resolution on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ Communities in Africa

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights meeting at its 28th Ordinary Session in Cotonou, Benin from 23rd October to 6th November 2000:

    Recalling that at its 26th Ordinary Session held in Kigali, Rwanda, it constituted a Committee made up of 3 Commissioners to further consider the issue of Indigenous People in Africa and advise accordingly;

    Having reconsidered the issue and its implications;

    Resolves to:

    1. Establish a working group of experts on the rights of indigenous or ethnic communities in Africa ;

    2. Set up a working group constituted of 2 members of the African Commission, one of whom should be designated as convenor and 2 African experts in the field of human rights or indigenous issues;

    3. Assign the following mandate to the working group:

    a) Examine the concept of indigenous people and communities in Africa;
    b) Study the implications of the African Charter on Human Rights and well being of indigenous communities especially with regard to:

    •  the right to equality (Articles 2 and 3);
    •  the right to dignity (Article 5);
    •  protection against domination (Article 19);
    •  on self-determination (Article 20); and 
    •  the promotion of cultural development and identity (Article 22).

    c) Consider appropriate recommendations for the monitoring and protection of the rights of indigenous communities;

    4. Have a funding proposal prepared with a view to raising donor funds to meet the costs of the work of the working group;

    5. Submit a report at the 30th Ordinary Session of the Commission.


    Done in Cotonou, Benin, 6th November 2000.

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