We the participants at the Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the 32nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 6th African Human Rights Book Fair held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Banjul from October 14th-16th, 2002
Recognising Article 60 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, which states that inter alia “ the Commission shall draw inspiration from international law on Human and People’s rights … as well as from the provision of various instruments adopted with the Specialised Agencies of the United Nations….”,
Recalling Article 45 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the functions of the Commission to promote and protect human and people’s rights in Africa,
Noting the nature and scope of discrimination against, and exclusion and marginalisation of minorities and indigenous peoples where ever it exist in Africa,
Recalling the Commission’s request for states to include information on minorities in their periodic reports,
Acknowledging the advances made by the African Commission in the promotion and protection of the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, by establishing a Working Group on Indigenous Peoples/ Communities in Africa, and further encouraging the Commission to mainstream the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities throughout its work,
We hereby call upon the Commission to:
Urge State Parties to respect international standards that pertains to a right to a nationality, without which minorities are excluded from the political processes, and in order to avoid conflicts and further violations of their rights,
Encourage State Parties to respect international standards with regards to the recognition of the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples based on the principles of self-identification,
Ensure that State Parties respect the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples with regard to their meaningful and effective participation, and free and informed consent in decisions concerning the minority groups to which they belong, the regions in which they live and the issues that affect them. Local, national and regional development policies and programmes including all future initiatives under NEPAD should also meet these standards.
Urge State Parties to include comprehensive information on minorities in their periodic reports to the Commission.
Done in Banjul, The Gambia 16th October 2002