Post by Sylvie Tangu, Two Rabbits project officer.
Between the 22nd of October and the 5th of November 2013, I was part of a team that attended the 54th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, held in Banjul, The Gambia. Prior to the session, our team, made up mostly of representatives of indigenous communities in Cameroon,first met with the Working Group of the African Commission on Indigenous Populations/Communities.
At this meeting, we submitted a report before the Working Group on the situation of indigenous peoples’ rights in Cameroon. Briefly, we exposed the discrimination faced by indigenous communities through national laws, programmes and projects which do not take their concerns and aspirations into consideration, and which do not make provision for any mechanisms to ensure their effective participation in decision making processes which affect them directly.
During the session, our team had the opportunity to present a statement before the Commission through
which we brought to the Commission’s attention the problems faced by indigenous peoples especially in the areas of health, education, lands and natural resources, and most especially the discrimination against indigenous women and girls. Attending the session was also a platform to network and share experiences about our various activities with like-minded individuals and potential partners. As such, through informal meetings with some members of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations as well as some organizations working on indigenous peoples’ issues, I was able to present and enlist support for the Chasing Two Rabbits at Once project.
Last but not necessarily the least, I was able to visit the exotic sights and sounds of the smiling coast of Africa.