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MRG's Head of Law, Lucy Claridge, visits Burundi  

Lucy Claridge, Head of Law at MRG, travelled to Burundi in December 2009 to further investigate a Batwa due process/land rights legal case that was proceeding but delayed at the domestic level. Lucy's trip included meeting with the Batwa community in Mutaho, meeting a local lawyer, collecting statements and evidence, assessing the merits of the case and considering next steps. Contact For more...

Uganda: Batwa Sounds 

According to Batwa tradition, families and friends gather around a fire and sing songs of courage, perseverance or to celebrate something good to the community. The songs are celebrating hope and dreams and builds community morale to be strong and resilient. The only sad thing is that the language they are singing in is Lufumbira which belongs to Bafumbira, a majority tribe found...

State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2011 

Women from minority and indigenous communities are targeted for rape and other forms of sexual violence, torture and killings specifically because of their ethnic, religious or indigenous identity, Minority Rights Group International says in its 2011 annual report launched today. In the flagship annual publication, State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2011, MRG documents cases from across the world showing how...

Uganda: Meet the first Mutwa graduate 

Alice Nyamihanda is the first Mutwa person from Uganda to achieve a university diploma. In this video, she talks about the barriers to education she faced growing up, and how she overcame these challenges to attend university and finish her diploma.Batwa in Uganda are originally forest dwellers and have been almost entirely dispossessed of their land by the combined pressures of government departments responsible for...

Democratic Republic of Congo: Indigenous organizations call for humanitarian assistance for displaced Batwa people  

We, organizations of indigenous Batwa people and those who accompany them, regret to note the following:- Large-scale displacement of indigenous Batwa across the entire province of North Kivu due to numerous conflicts that occur. Therefore, they are the primary innocent victims;- Indigenous Batwa people do not have access to, or have difficulty accessing, emergency humanitarian aid in IDP (internally displaced persons) camps due to...

Democratic Republic of Congo: Forest Peoples Programme launches pioneering book on indigenous peoples free, prior and informed consent 

As part of its project: "REDD financing, Human Rights and Economic Development for Sustainable Poverty Reduction of forest communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)", Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), and it’s local partners in the DRC have published, in collaboration with the Organisation d’Accompagnement et d’Appui aux Pygmées (OSAPY), the first volume of a new book series titled Forêts Africaines - Tabernacle des...

Uganda: Batwa – sexual violence and lack of health care spreads HIV/AIDS 

Displacement and loss of access to ancestral territory has had devastating effects on indigenous peoples, including on their health status. Arguably, those most severely affected have been the Batwa communities of East and Central Africa.With recent news about increases in HIV infection rates in Uganda, MRG interviewed Faith Tushabe, Executive Director of African International Christian Ministry, an NGO that works closely with Batwa communities...

MRG Podcast March 2014 

Our March podcast features music and interviews from a visit by MRG’s Media Officer, Emma Eastwood, to Batwa communities in south west Uganda. Batwa, who Emma describes as Africa’s untouchables, are one of the most vulnerable groups on the continent, and part of a growing number of conservation refugees, forcibly removed from their ancestral forest home to make way for a national park....

Uganda: 'Batwa may be poor, but they have immense cultural wealth' 

The tiny village of Nteko is set atop a 2000 metre-high hill, with stunning views of distant misty lakes and verdant valleys. Yet for Batwa this paradise is a living hell.You may well know Batwa as Pygmies, their more common, but derogatory name. Batwa have lived as hunter gatherers in the forests of south-west Uganda for millennia, depending on their forest home not only...

Uganda: Local rights organisation deeply concerned about tension between Batwa and Bakiga and calls for immediate investigations of incidents of arson 

United Organisation for Batwa Development (Uobdu) condemns the recent attack on a Batwa community in Rubuguri in which 13 homes were razed after a night bar brawl between a Mutwa, only identified as Akakwasa, and Aggrey Masente and his wife from the majority Bakiga ethnic group on 7 June 2014. Masente with the assistance of a group of errant youth, adults and...

SWM 2014: Photo story 

Hate crime towards minorities and indigenous peoples is a daily reality in many countries across the globe, says Minority Rights Group International (MRG) in its annual report, but is often ignored by authorities.The international organisation’s flagship report, State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2014, focuses on ‘Freedom from hate’ and presents compelling evidence showing that hate crime and hate speech are prevalent...

SWM 2015: Rwanda - Promoting peace through sustainable urban development in Kigali 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Paige Wilhite JenningsApril 2014 saw the 20th anniversary of the genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people – three-quarters of the Rwanda’s Tutsi minority, as well as moderates from the Hutu majority – were killed in 100 days. While this small landlocked country’s population density, the highest in Africa, may have contributed to social tensions, ethnic...

DRC: MRG's Head of Law visits Batwa communities 

The Batwa of South Kivu, DRC, have lived in an area now called Kahuzi-Biega National Park (PNKB) since time immemorial. In 1937, a law was passed creating a nature reserve in the area, but the Batwa were allowed to remain in the forest. However, in 1970, a further law was passed creating the PNKB, at the proposal of the Congolese Institute for the Conservation...

DRC/Australia: 'Still a Pygmy' 

The shortness of a mini-eggplant is its mature size. – BaTembo Pygmy proverb How did a Pygmy from Congo end up living in Sydney, Australia? Growing up as a hunter-gatherer in the forests of Congo, where Pygmies were considered inferior to all other Africans and fit only for slave labour and witchcraft rituals, Isaac Bacirongo never dreamed he would end up...

Uganda: School feeding program increasing Batwa pupil enrollment 

Most Batwa communities in the East Africa region live in impoverished conditions. And for a community that has been almost entirely dispossessed of their land by the government due to national conservation policies and is facing eminent extinction, education would rank least on their priority list. That is why in all national development indicators, they rank lower than national averages. ...

DRC: Batwa killed and injured in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. 

South-Kivu, DRC. Civil society organizations and Pygmies Communities from the province of South Kivu denounce the assassination of MBONE NAKULIRE Batwa child, occurred on Saturday 26 of August in Kahuzi-Beiga National Park.The atrocity occurred around 09:00 AM of that Saturday morning, when unarmed Batwa child and his father were looking for medicinal plants and ended up being shot by park guards in the premises...

Rwanda: Being indigenous and disabled is double jeopardy 

Being indigenous and disabled is double jeopardy: But we need to put our effort together to fight against the discrimination of disabled people.In 2016-2017, African Initiative for Mankind Progress Organisation (AIMPO) conducted out survey on Batwa with disabilities, thanks to the support of Disability Rights Fund (DRF). The objective of this baseline survey was to establish the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Batwa currently...



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