Protecting indigenous peoples in Africa : an analysis of the approach of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

24 Jul 2007

In 2003, the African Commission established a Working Group of Experts on Indigenous Populations / Communities in Africa. This development has been heralded as a recognition of the existence of particular marginalised groups in Africa identifying themselves as indigenous peoples whose rights are protected by the African Charter. The establishment of the African Commission's Working Group was largely a regional manifestation of the developments taking place at international law. This article discusses the concept of indigenous peoples as it is developing at international law and under the African human rights system. It also explores the extent to which the African Charter, according to the African Commission’s Working Group, accommodates the rights of indigenous peoples.