Thursday, September 14, 2017

Rights body urge govt to enact laws recognising indigenous people


By Louis Kolumbia @Collouis1999

Dar es Salaam. The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) has urged the government to enact laws that will recognise indigenous people and provide for their rights as enshrined in the regional and international bodies.

In a statement signed by CHRAGG Chairman, Mr Bahame Nyanduga, to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous people on Wednesday, September 13, CHRAGG asked the government to put in motion a process to ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention number 169 and respective domesticate provisions.

“The government should ensure there is equitable sharing of resources such as land and other natural resources in areas where indigenous communities live. Also, indigenous people should be involved in planning and decision making on issues affecting their welfare,” reads CHRAGG statement in part.

According to CHRAGG, government is supposed to consult indigenous communities whenever implementing development projects in their areas so as to obtain their free, prior, and informed consent.

CHRAGG’s recommendations come after the commission has discovered various challenges facing indigenous people in spite of the country’s participation in adopting the United Nations Declaration on Rights to Indigenous People (UNDRIP), 10 years ago.

The commission listed some of the challenges as absence of legislation recognising indigenous people, lack of representation in decision-making organs, poor provision of social services such as poor access to clean and safe water, poor health services and education facilities.

Other challenges are poor infrastructure such as roads, inadequate grazing land, poor communication systems and absence of enough hunting and gathering areas.

Also, they have challenges related to lack of effective strategies to effectively mitigate effects of climate change, lack of recognition of traditional land under their ownership and land grabbing to pave the way for implementation of economic activities.