Lesle Jansen and Stephanie Booker of Natural Justice presented in Windhoek, Namibia on the topics of indigenous peoples and the environment; post-2015 UN development agenda as well as a situational analysis on extractives industries in Southern Africa. The presentations formed part of a four-day Advanced Seminar on the Implementation and Promotion of Indigenous Peoples Rights in the Namibia context. It was hosted by the University of Namibia in partnership with Open Society Foundation in Southern Africa (OSISA) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The seminar was hosted from 01 – 04 July 2013 with about 30 participants from different sectors ranging from University of Namibia staff and students; civil society; media and government officials. The objectives to the seminar were:
- To build local knowledge of human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples and how this applies to indigenous peoples in Namibia
- To look at the International Human Rights Framework and the obligations of the Namibian Government to respect, protect and fulfil human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- To achieve a greater awareness, understanding and implementation of relevant policy guidance on indigenous issues, particularly related to effective engagement of indigenous peoples and recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights in development processes
- To explore the use of human rights indicators to establish/ ensure accountability for the implementation of IPs rights in Namibia.
The theme to the seminar was: The concept of indigenous peoples and legal instruments protecting them. It covered the topics, amongst others (i) Understanding the concept of Indigenous Peoples under international law: A human Rights Approach; (ii) International Norms and Standards relevant to IPs: ILO Convention No 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; (iii) Legal instruments and monitoring mechanisms on indigenous peoples’ rights in the African human and (iv) The recognition of indigenous peoples in Namibia.