Special rights for the development of Indigenous Peoples (IPS) in Africa: Any need in a democratic society with functional human rights document?
Indigenous Peoples (IPs) have been subjected to a series of humiliation, discrimination and in some cases dis-membership of a state. This is germane, but not peculiar, to the developing states with special reference to Africa. Globalization and efforts to link human, cultural and social rights to the IPs remain blurred and continue to generate academic curiosity. Despite the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) and the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) positions on the need to accord some special rights to the under-privileged IPs based on their culture, religion and economic/mode of production, they remain a second fiddle in their various states. For them to have access to their resources, issues of prior informed consent, indigenous knowledge and access and benefit sharing dicta need to be observed religiously by states and business corporations in harnessing the resources of the IPs in the form of natural resources that they are in control of because they are found on their lands. The rivalry between the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) through World Intellectual Property Rights (WIPRs) regime is the bane of the IPs’ development.
Keywords: Indigenous Peoples (IPs); Indigenous Peoples Rights (IPRs); Special rights; International Labour Organisation (ILO); Nagoya Protocol; Africa