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Community / Land projects / R2F Alliance Fund - OPDP

R2F Alliance Fund - OPDP


08/19 - 06/20


This project is part of


The Land Right Mechanism is an initiative of the indigenous peoples# platform in Africa to lobby for pro-indigenous and human rightbased policies in Africa. Indigenous Peoples in Africa suffer wide discrimination and exclusion. Their voice # particularly the voice of whom is speaking out - is being silenced. Securing land rights is the fundamental (first) step to ensure Indigenous Peoples# voice to be heard, and their individual and collective rights to be respected, including the right to citizenship. Indigenous Peoples# who traditionally protect vast tracts of land # are often at the frontline against (increasing) illegal commercial pressures overtheir lands. The partners engaged in this proposal all come from countries that make no exception to this context, as evidenced bythe recent report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/42/37; See here). This includes lack of recognition of the existence of indigenous peoples in national constitutions and legislation (including lack of ratification of international laws), denial of justice, lack of secured territorial rights, criminalization, open threats andviolence against defenders. Detailed background information for each country can be found in IWGIA, 2019. The UN Special Rapporteuron the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is planning a visit in DRC in October 2019. Partners engaged in this proposal # in various degrees # have all experienced criminalization or harassment because their peaceful action to promote Indigenous Peoples# rights. Underthe International Lands Coalition (ILC) commitment on securing territorial rights for indigenous peoples in Africa, the platform istargeting high level decision makings at the regional level to push for African governments adopt better policies to address the plight of the indigenous peoples in concerning land and natural resources. One of such bodies we target is the African Commission on Human and Peoples# Rights (ACHPR/The African Commission). The African Commission is a fundamental African Human Right body of the African Union that also has mandate for indigenous populations to secure territories of indigenous peoples in Africa. The African Charter which is the foundation for the African Commission also sets up a working group on indigenous populations /communities and mandated it to gather information on violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples, formulate recommendations and proposals on appropriate measures and activities to prevent and remedy violations on human rights. It is this mechanism that the platform will seek to engage with and utilize opportunities with it to hold government to account, launch complaint as well as seek support for adoption and implementation of pro indigenous communities. From a civic space perspective the mechanism is importantbecause it supports at regional level a space that traditionally excluded communities can use and leverage to open civic space nationally, as proven by the landmark judgement on Ogiek in Kenya (See here) in 2017, which saw the restoration of the Ogiek ancestral lands/forest. [The judgment was the result of a case submitted by Ogiek people against the Government of Kenya, for violations of Ogiek#s rights to life, property, natural resources, development, religion, culture and non-discrimination. Between the first provisional measure order in 2013, and the final judgment in 2017, despite the case, 1000 Ogiek has been evicted, and several cases ofpolicyintimidation has been recorded] Since then however full implementation has not been done despite government efforts to form task forces on its implementation. It is these scenarios that require the attention of the African commission to speed up the realization of rights as granted by court decisions. Other indigenous communities like the Kwhe in Botswana, the Mbororo in Cameroun and the Batwa of Burundi faces human and land rights violations, and widespread criminalization (See here as an example). They are being disposed. Their situation should as well be understood by the African Commission for exerting of pressure on their governments to uphold respect of human rights and collective rights of such groups of people # replicating the same strategy developed and realized in the case of the Ogiek#s case. At the country level, we plan to hold a media advocacy activity to fast track and push for the full implementation of the regional court decisions especially the Ogiek case ruling (Arusha ruling)of 2017. The Arusha ruling is case for theindigenous peoples in Africa however there has been delays given about two years have lapsed since the ruling was issue without tangible rights realized by the Indigenous Ogiek community. We shall therefore invite and hold a national media briefing (media breakfast) in Nairobi targeting both national and international media to pressure for the ruling implementation and respect for the dignity of indigenous peoples in the country. In sum, the activitiesproposed will contribute to civic space objectives by: - Gaining space as it aims to #take up# untapped influencing arenas at the regional level, which will contribute to open up spaces for indigenous people#s organizations to speak up/be heard in theirown countries. - Strengthening CSO#s and their alliances by bringing together marginalized and criminalized indigenous and land rights defenders movements around a common influencing agenda. - Strengthening CSO#sby showing indigenous movements can be effective in mobilizing pressure for the implementation of the historical decision on the land restauration case.

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