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Buffalo Human Rights Law Review

First Page

57

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This article examines Communication 276/2003, Center for Minority Rights Development (Kenya) and Minority Rights Group International on behalf of the Endorois Welfare Council v. Kenya, argued before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. The Endorois Communication is one of the first indigenous rights claims to be examined by an international body after the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

This article begins by placing the Communication within the context of the international indigenous rights movement. The authors then explore the Commission's historical use of Articles 60 and 61 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. The authors contend that the Commission, while liberally deploying comparative jurisprudence from the European and Inter-American Human Rights systems, failed to articulate the bounds and import of Articles 60 and 61 of the African Charter. Finally, the authors propose that the Commission should have grafted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into its understanding of long-standing African Charter rights through Articles 60 and 61. Despite the Commission's significant finding that Kenya violated the rights of the Endorois Community, the authors conclude that the Commission missed an opportunity to declare that the Charter's rights are only adequately applied to indigenous populations, through the framework of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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