MINELRES: MRG eBulletin / September 2008

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Tue Oct 14 15:40:23 2008

Original sender: Minority Rights Group <noreply@mrgmail.org>

Welcome to the Minority Rights Group International (MRG) email bulletin.
Simply click on the links below in order to access the full news story
or publication on MRG's website, or alternatively visit our site at

Campaign updates

Our new campaign in support of minority and indigenous communities
affected by climate change got off to an excellent start by gathering
more than 300 signatures in the first two weeks. We have begun a count
down now to the penultimate round of negotiations amongst UN member
states for a new climate change deal in Poznan, Poland in December.
Communities worst affected by climate change have no place in these
negotiations. We need to get their voices heard. 

Take Action Now

Read More 

New updates on our campaign for tourism to benefit Endorois indigenous
peoples in Kenya…Tell your friends and colleagues to sign up to our
petition – we aim to pressurize the Kenyan government into action. 

Messages from campaign supporters

"One wonders if tourists are even made aware of the situation." - David
Marchesi, UK, 15 August

"The Endorois community have a right to exist and enjoy the fruits of
what they have ably conserved for time immemorial." - Muzamilu Kigeri
Bisanga, Uganda, 29 August

- In September, the Endorois community, tired of waiting for the
government to act, met with bosses of ethical tourism businesses in
Kenya, to begin developing their own tourism initiatives around Lake
Bogoria in the Rift Valley. 
- Also in September, Wilson Kipsang Kipkazi of the Endorois Welfare
Council was publicising our campaign live across the African continent,
on BBC World Service Africa Have Your Say phone in programme. Listen to
the debate, and read the comments. He attracted lots of support! 
- Coming soon on our campaign website: Meet the Endorois – hear Elders
talk about what life was like before fertile grazing land for their
cattle was enclosed in a game reserve in the 1970s, learn more about
their demands for justice and compensation. 
- Take action now and sign MRG's online petition in support of the
Endorois. We plan to hand the petition over to the Kenyan government at
the end of 2008 – your voice is vital if this unique indigenous
community is to reclaim its homeland. 

MRG's World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

The World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples (
http://www.minorityrights.org/directory ) covers 220 of the world's
countries and dependent territories, and features profiles of about 700
minorities/indigenous peoples. 

Recent updates to this unique resource are: Algeria, Abkhazia,
Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Central African Republic, China, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador,
Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Gambia, Indonesia, Iran, Iceland, Italy, Japan,
Kenya, Lebanon, Mauritius, Niger, Palestine, Russian Federation and
Zimbabwe. Next month: updates on Georgia and South Ossetia.

News features

Reserved seats for minorities a must before Iraq election law comes into
2 October 2008

Minority Rights Group International on Thursday expressed serious
concern that a new Iraqi draft election law, does not provide guaranteed
seats for minorities.


Mega-tourism determined to steamroll indigenous Garifuna rights
18 September 2008

The ‘Micos Golf and Beach Project’ in Tela Bay on Honduras’ north coast
is going ahead, , advancing upon the territory of the indigenous
Garifuna people. The project, backed by the Inter-American Development
Bank, has already completely displaced one of the five Garifuna
Afro-descendent communities that have lived in the area for centuries. 


Indigenous peoples' fears of displacement laid to rest
4 September 2008

Indigenous groups, such as the Mursi tribe of Ethiopia, have been
imperiled by Western aspirations of wilderness conservation, but there
is hope when activists from around the world stand alongside the
indigenous community to demand justice, as they have done with the


MRG in the news
A selection of MRG’s news coverage over the past month 

Rights court 'yet to start work'
The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, set up 10 years ago, has
yet to hear a single case, according to campaigners at Minority Rights

Rights groups criticise Kanyeihamba recall
AN equal rights advocacy group, Minority Rights Group International has
lashed out at the government for what it called the ‘unnecessary’
recalling of Supreme Court Judge Justice George Kanyeihamba from the
African Court of Human Rights.

UK lobby faults IDPs resettlement
The Grand Coalition Cabinet has failed to resettle Internally Displaced
Persons, five months after the power sharing deal signed on February 28.

NGOs want results from first EU 'Roma Summit'
Human rights groups have called on the European Commission to refrain
from preaching empty words and come up with concrete strategies to
tackle the problems faced by Europe's Roma population during the first
EU 'Roma Summit' in Brussels today

What's new?

MRG Blog - Minorities in Focus

Snjezana Bokulic, MRG’s Europe and Central Asia Programmes Coordinator,
writes on the ‘missed opportunity’ at the recent historic EU Roma summit
organised by the European Commission in Brussels.

Matilde Ceravolo, MRG’s Fundraiser, reports back from the first day of
an MRG training workshop for Batwa and NGO workers from Burundi, DRC,
Rwanda and Uganda to combat discrimination against Batwa women in their
countries. Read her account of the time she spent discovering Kampala

10 Years and Still no Justice: The African Court of Human and People's

This report looks at the context of human rights in Africa and describes
what has been achieved in establishing the African Court. It also
examines the difficulties that currently prevent the African Court and
the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights working together and
problems regarding the processes giving access to the Court. 
To download a copy of the report here

Coming up

MRG's campaign officer Farah Mihlar is in Barcelona attending the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) forum, which is
expected to attract some 8,000 environmental and community activists.
Read Farah’s blog in The Independent and other news from the global
forum on our website -

To help promote MRG's campaign in support of the Endorois community,
Wilson Kipsang Kipkazi, Secretary of the Endorois Welfare Council, will
be visiting the UK to mark World Responsible Tourism Day on 12 November
2008. For those of you living in London look out for events which MRG
will be organising around his visit.

MRG will soon be publishing a new report looking at the political
exclusion of pastoralist women in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania,
detailing marginalisation they face from inside their own communities.


Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is a non-governmental
organization working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide, and to promote
cooperation and understanding between communities.

MRG is a registered charity no. 282305, and has consultative status with
the United Nations Economic and Social Council and observer status with
the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights.

Minority Rights Group International
54 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LT, UK
Tel: 020 7422 4200
Fax: 020 7422 4201
Email: minority.rights@mrgmail.org
Website: http://www.minorityrights.org

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