UPR: Important indigenous issues raised during the UPR examination of Tanzania
“UN Human Rights Mechanisms raises violations of human rights for pastoralists and hunter-gatherers” On the 3rd of October 2011, Tanzania was for the first time reviewed under Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which is a new mechanism under the United Nations Human Rights Council. The UPR was established four years ago to review on a periodic basis the fulfillment by each of the 192 United Nations Member states of their human rights obligations and commitments.
The UPR operates on a four years cycle. Tanzania’s UPR report was presented by Hon. Minister of State for Good Governance Mathias Chikawe. The government report presented the extent to which the government of the United Republic of Tanzania has implemented its human rights obligations and commitments. During the UPR interactive dialogue different member states raised their concerns with regard to the human rights situation in Tanzania. The civil society coalition of pastoralists and hunter-gatherers is pleased to note that some of the serious concerns of indigenous peoples were among the issues raised by state parties. The coalition commends the state parties who raised the issues of evictions of pastoralists and hunter-gatherers from their ancestral lands. The coalition encourages the government of Tanzania to diligently respond to the issues of evictions and to adopt the recommendations made by the member states during the interactive dialogue. During the UPR examination, member states recommended to the government of Tanzania to recognize the existence of indigenous peoples in Tanzania and to make clear provisions for the protection of their rights in line with international human rights standards. The coalition welcomes this important recommendation and urges the government to accept and work on this recommendation. In addition an important recommendation was made to the government of Tanzania to align its policies on pastoralism with the newly created African Union Policy Framework on Pastoralism. The civil society coalition of pastoralists and hunter-gatherers further welcomes the recommendations made to the government of the United Republic of Tanzania to invite the UN and other human rights special mechanisms to come to Tanzania to investigate on the human rights violations, including evictions of pastoralists and hunter-gatherers and to release the reports of previous parliamentary commissions of inquiry. The coalition further urges the government to observe and implement the recommendations of the UN- special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous populations. The coalition also recognizes the valuable recommendations made by member states during the UPR examination on the issue of free, prior and informed consent on all matters affecting pastoralists and hunter-gatherers. The coalition recommends the government to adhere to these human right standards on issues affecting indigenous people. The coalition welcomes with due respect the recommendation made by member states during the UPR examination for the establishment of an official, permanent and effective consultation mechanism with the participation of organizations working on the rights of indigenous peoples to address the situation and rights of indigenous peoples in Tanzania, including the issue of free, prior and informed consent. We strongly recommend the government of the United Republic of Tanzania to accept all the recommendations made on the rights of indigenous peoples and to ensure that the suggested special consultation mechanism addresses violations of human rights and impunities particularly related to evictions exercises. The civil society coalition of pastoralists and hunter-gatherers welcomes the opportunity to cooperate with the government of the United Republic of Tanzania on how best the recommendations raised by the member states during the UPR review can be implemented. For more information contact PINGOs Forum on behalf of the Coalition
Tags: Global governance