Forum of NGOs participating at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 11th African Human Rights Book Fair, held in Banjul, The Gambia, from April 27 to May 11, 2005,
We, the Organisations working for the protection of and respect for the rights of indigenous populations/communities and minorities in Africa, as recognised by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,
Cognisant of the existing standards of international law relative to the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous populations/communities and minorities as guaranteed in the United Nations Declaration on the rights of individuals belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, Convention 169 of the International Labour Organisation on indigenous and tribal populations in independent nations, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Convention on Bio-Diversity;
Cognisant of the commitment made by the African Commission through its Resolution adopting the Report of the Working Group on the situation of the rights of indigenous populations/communities, during its 34th Ordinary Session held in Banjul in November 2003;
Considering the perpetual conditions of extreme poverty and inhumanity that the indigenous populations and minorities in Africa continue to live in;
Considering the non implementation of the recommendations made during the preceding Sessions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, notably those made during the 36th Session;
Urge the African Commission:
1. To enhance appreciation for and understanding of human rights within the different programmes of poverty alleviation currently being implemented in various countries with a view to safeguarding the rights of minorities and indigenous populations within the said programmes;
2. To actively popularize the Report of the Experts Working Group on indigenous minorities/communities, which is still unknown to the general public.
3. To take the necessary and appropriate measures for the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Resolution of the 36th Session of the Commission;
4. To enter into a constructive dialogue with the government Authorities, the minorities and the indigenous populations during country visits.
Done in Banjul, 26th April, 2005