• Indigenous peoples in Kenya

    Indigenous peoples in Kenya

    The indigenous peoples in Kenya include hunter-gatherers such as the Ogiek, Sengwer, Yaaku Waata and Sanya, while pastoralists include the Endorois, Turkana, Maasai, Samburu and others.
  • Peoples

    79,000 people in Kenya are hunter-gatherers.
    25 per cent of Kenya's population belong to pastoralist groups.
  • Land rights

    26 May 2017, the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights judged in favor of the Ogiek community of Kenya. The judgement was a historic victory for the Ogiek, who were acknowledged as indigenous and won both compensation from the government of Kenya and the right to stay in the Mau forest.
  • Rights

    Kenya has no specific legislation on indigenous peoples and has yet to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ratify International Labour Organization Convention 169
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  • African Court: Ogiek people cannot be evicted

African Court: Ogiek people cannot be evicted

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights issued provisional measures to ensure that the Ogiek people of the Mau forest cannot be evicted by the Kenyan government, while the matter continues before the court. The Ogiek people are one of a number of hunter-gatherer peoples in Kenya threatened by forced land evictions. This historical result was announced mid-March after the Ogiek case recenty became the first indigenous rights case to come before the court since it began in 2006.

While the case is likely to be heard by the court over a number of months, the decision is a clear success for the Ogiek people and other indigenous peoples in Africa. By ordering the government to reinstate former restrictions on land transactions in the Mau forest, the court has brought global attention to the seriousness of the Ogiek people's plight. With IWGIA support, our partner in the region, OGIEK Peoples' Development Program (OPDP), first took the case to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. The commission then transferred the case to the court, where rulings are legally binding. Our project with OPDP empowers the Ogiek people to monitor and document human rights violations made against them, and to take action. IWGIA co-funded their initiative to take their case to the commission, along with Minority Rights Group. As long as their case is before the court, the Ogiek people cannot be evicted from their land. This historic case has good potential to set a precedent against forced land evictions in Africa.

Tags: Land rights



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

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