Kenya: Justice for Indigenous Peoples - The Endorois Case
The Endorois, a semi-nomadic people, had for centuries herded their cattle and goats around Lake Bogoria in the Rift Valley, Kenya. In the 1970’s they were evicted from their traditional lands to create a nature reserve intended as a tourist attraction.
The creation of the reserve deprived the Endorois of access to grazing lands and ultimately consigned them to lives of poverty and deprivation. However, together with MRG, the community argued its case before the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights. As a result, for the first time in Africa, in February 2010, recognition was given to the rights of indigenous peoples over their traditionally owned land and its development, with explicit reference to the right to development.
The role of organisations that argued this case, including the Endorois Welfare Council and Minority Rights Group International, and civil society in general, in achieving and implementing the right to development, was a key theme at this year’s Human Rights Council Social Forum, held from 3 to 5 October in Geneva, Switzerland.
Wilson Kipsang Kipkazi, the Program Coordinator with the Endorois Welfare Council, described the community’s case to the Forum participants. He explained however that the community still awaits the decision to be implemented and is growing frustrated with the government's intransigence.
This video, The Endorois Case - Litigating the Right to Development, was originally made by the Endorois community, supported by Witness and MRG. It has been recently updated to include footage from the celebrations by the community in 2010 following the African Commission's decision in their favour.