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Violations Against Indigenous Africa: A website documenting historical and contemporary cases of human rights violations against indigenous peoples of Africa

New website documents historical and contemporary cases of human rights violations against indigenous peoples in Africa

Indigenous peoples in Africa continue to suffer from widespread and gross human rights violations, as also documented by IWGIA in its 2021 edition of The Indigenous World: The Indigenous World - IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs

A new website which documents historical and contemporary cases of human rights violations against indigenous peoples of Africa was launched during the 2021 session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The website is run by Indigenous Africa (IndigenousAFR), a registered student organization at the University of Michigan, and it brings detailed case studies from all over Africa, which can be searched by country and type of violation. Subject to high levels of discrimination and persecution and low levels of political representation, pastoralists/herders, agro-pastoralists, and hunter-gatherers are losing their traditional territories and grazing lands to powerful interests. This includes:

  1. International conservation organizations
  2. Large-scale agribusiness
  3. Infrastructure projects
  4. Extractive industries
  5. Encroachment by farming communities (who as the majority population are favored by their governments)
  6. Refugee crises including indigenous peoples
  7. Urban expansion


These threats undermine and put at risk the ability of indigenous communities in Africa to maintain their land, livelihoods and cultures. Indigenous peoples across the continent of Africa are subject to lack of respect for their rights to land, territory, resources, self determination and basic human rights. This is due in part to collusion between state and corporate interests, as well as to the rhetorical position taken by most African states that there are no indigenous peoples on the continent. Yet, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) recognizes a number of peoples in Africa as indigenous – and in the year 2007, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was passed at the United Nations by a majority (144) of member states, including 35 African states. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has also recognized and provided criteria for identification of indigenous peoples on the African continent:  African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights Specialmechanisms (achpr.org)

The website currently includes more than 75 cases and it is continuously expanded as cases arise and can be verified.

Visit the website: https://indigenousafrica.org/

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About IWGIA

IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. Read The Indigenous World.

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Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
E-mail: iwgia@iwgia.org
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