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De Jure Law Journal

On-line version ISSN 2225-7160
Print version ISSN 1466-3597

De Jure (Pretoria) vol.44 n.2 Pretoria  2011




The right to development in the African human rights system: The Endorois case


Die reg op ontwikkeling in die Afrika-menseregtestelsel: Die Endorois-saak



Serges Alain Djoyou Kamga

Lic-en-dt LLM Researcher, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria




Die doel van hierdie artikel is om die impak van die uitspraak in Centre for Minority Rights Development (namens Endorois) v Kenya (Endorois uitspraak)oor die verwesenliking van die reg to ontiwikkeling in Afrika se menseregte sisteem te ondersoek. Na 'n oorsig van die reg tot ontwikkeling, wat uit eie gekarakteriseer is deur omstredenheid, gaan die artikel voort om te wys hoe die Endoroisuitspraak wegbeweeg van die uitspraak in die Social and Economic Rights Center and the Center for Economic and Social Rights v Nigeria (SERAC uitspraak), Democratic Republic of the Congo v Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda (DRC uitspraak) en Kevin Mgwanga Gumne et al v Cameroon (Gumne uitspraak). Die Endorois uitspraak omksryf die konsep van "peoples"; maak duidelik wie die begunstigdes van die reg tot ontwikkeling is en beklemtoon die rol van die staat as die primêre pligdraer. Dit verduidelik ook die inhoud van die reg tot ontwikkeling wat veelsydig is omdat dit bestaan uit elemente van nie-diskriminasie, deelname, verantwoordingspligtigheid, deursigtigheid, regverdigheid en keuses asook vermoëns. Verder, verduidelik dit die drempel van mense se deelname benodig in die ontwikkelingspogings en beklemtoon die onmiddellike totstandkoming van menseregte soos omskryf in die African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. Die Endorois uitspraak gee leiding oor hoe om die beregbaarheid van die reg tot ontwikkeling te verseker. Voor die Endorois uitspraak, is al hierdie eienskappe van die reg tot ontwikkeling nooit opgeklaar deur die Afrika-Kommissie in die SERAC, DRC en Gumne gevalle nie.



“Full text available only in PDF format”



* I thank Dr Magnus Killander for commenting on earlier draft.
1 Communication 276/2003, Centre for Minority Rights Development (Kenya) and Minority Rights Group International on behalf of Endorois Welfare Council v Kenya.See African Commission, 27th Activity Report, 2009.
2 African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) adopted by the OAU in Nairobi, Kenya, on 1981-06-27 and entered into force on 1986-12-21, art 8.
3 ACHPR, art 14.
4 ACHPR, art 17.
5 ACHPR, art 21.
6 ACHPR, art 22.
7 According to art 56 (6) ACHPR, communications "shall be considered if they are sent after exhausting local remedies, if any, unless it obvious that this procedure is unduly prolonged".
8 The UN Declaration on the right to development (UNDRTD), A/RES/41/128, art 2(3).
9 Par 281. For more on this see Morel "Communication 276/2003, Centre for Minority Rights Development (Kenya) and Minority Rights Group International on behalf of Endorois Welfare Council v Kenya" 2010 Housing and ESCR Rights Law Quarterly 5.
10 Idem par 283.
11 Sen Development as freedom (1999) 35; see also Steiner et al International human rights in context Law, politics, morals - Text and Materials (2007) 1434.
12 Adopted by the UN General Assembly in Resolution 41/128 of 1986-12-04.
13 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993-06-14-25, UN General Assembly A/Conf.157/23 1993-06-12.
14 Commission on Human Rights, Resolution 1998/72 adopted without a vote on 1998-04-22 appointed Arjun Sengupta as the UN Independent Expert of the RTD.
15 The fifth session of the Working Group on the right to development recommended among other things the constitution of a High Level Task Force for the Implementation of the RTD within the framework of the working Group. This recommendation was adopted at the 60th session of the Commission for Human Rights in its Resolution CHR 2004/7.
16 Andreassen & Marks Development as a human right. Legal, political and economic dimensions (2006).
17 Whyte "Review of development as a human right" Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development 1, issue 1 at (accessed 10 December 2010).         [ Links ]
18 Andreassen & Marks iii.
19 Bedjaoui "The difficult advance of human rights towards universality in a pluralistic world" proceedings at the colloqium organised by the Council of Europe in co-operation with the International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg 1989-4-17-19; 32-47.
20 Dimitrievic "Is there a right to development?" paper presented at the annual convention of the International Studies Association, Cincinnati, Mar 1982.
21 Shue Basic rights (1980) 19-20.
22 Salomon "Legal cosmopolitanism and the normative contribution of the right to development" in Implementing the right to development: the role of international law (ed Marks) (2008) 17.         [ Links ]
23 Alston "Making space for new human rights: The case of the right to development" 1998 Harvard Human Rights Journal 20.         [ Links ]
24 Donnelly "In search of the unicorn: The jurisprudence and politics of the right to development" 1985 California Western International LJ 473.         [ Links ]
25 Idem 477.
26 Idem 478.
27 Donnelly "The right to development - How not to link human rights and development' in Human rights and development in Africa ( edsWelch & Meltzer)(1984) 261.         [ Links ]
28 Donnelly (1985) 478; also Donnelly (1984) 274.
29 Shivji The concept of human rights in Africa (1989) 82.
30 M'baye "le droit au développement comme un droit de l'homme" 1972 5 Revue des droits de l'homme 513.
31 Ibid.
32 Bello "Article 22 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights" in Essays in Honour of Judge Taslim Olawale Elias (eds Bello & Adjibola)(1992) 462.         [ Links ]
33 Rosas "The right to development" in Economic social and cultural rights (eds Eide, Krausus & Rosas) (2001) 251.         [ Links ]
34 Alfredsson "The right to development: Perspective from human rights law" in Human Rights in domestic law and development assistance policies of the Nordic countries (eds Rehof & Gulmann)(1989) 84.         [ Links ]
35 Ghai "Whose human rights to development" Human Rights Unit Occasional Paper (1989) as quoted by Baxi Human rights in post human world: Critical essays (2007) 124.
36 Baxi 124.
37 Espiell "The right to development" Revue des Droits de l'Homme 5 (1972) 190.         [ Links ]
38 Johnson, "The contribution of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt to development of international protection for human rights" (1987) 9 Human Rights Quarterly 19 - 48.
39 Art 55 & 56.
40 Art 28.
41 Art 2.
42 Chowdhury & De Waart "Significance of the right to development in international law: An introductory view' in The right to development in international law(eds Chowdbury, Denters & De Waart)(1992) 10.         [ Links ]
43 Marks "The human right to development: between rhetoric and reality" 2004 Havard Human Rights Journal 142.         [ Links ]
44 In 1998, the resolution E/CN.4/RES/1998/72 was adopted at the Commission for Human Rights (CHR) without a vote whereas at the General Assembly, 125 votes in favour, 1 vote against and 42 abstentions were recorded for the resolution A/RES/53/155. In 1999, the resolution E/CN.4/ RES/1999/79 was adopted at the CHR without a vote and at the General Assembly 119 votes for, 10 against and 38 abstentions were recorded for the resolution A/RES/54/175. In 2000, the resolution E/CN.4/RES/2000/5 was adopted without vote at the CHR and the resolution A/RES/55/108 was also adopted without a vote at General Assembly. At the CHR in 2001 the European Union (except the United Kingdom) was for the RTD, 3 abstentions (United Kingdom, Canada and the Republic of Korea) were recorded and Japan and the USA voted against (see Commission on Human Rights Res. 9, U.N. ESCOR, 57th Sess., at 68, UN Doc. E/CN.4/2001/167 (2001); The same year (2001), at the 56th session of the General Assembly (Sep-Dec) 123 votes in favour and 4 against (Denmark, Israel, Japan, and the USA), with 44 abstentions were recorded (see GA Res 150, U.N. GAOR, 56 th Sess, Supp No 49, at 341, UN Doc. A/2890 (2001); At its 57th session in December 2002, where the General Assembly adopted the conclusions of the Open-Ended Working Group on the RTD, it recorded 133 votes in favour, 4 votes against (USA, Australia, the Marshall Islands and Palau), and 47 abstentions (see GA Res 556, UN GAOR, 57th Sess, Supp No 49, UN Doc A/ 57/49 (2002)).
45 (2004) Arab Charter on Human Rights (revised version) art 2.
46 Baldwin and Morel "Group rights" in The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights -The system in practice, 1986-2006 (eds Evans & Murray)(2008) 270.         [ Links ] The RTD is binding in the ACHPR (art 22) as well as in its protocol on the rights of women in Africa (art 19 which provides for the right to sustainable development for women). More discussion on the issue will be provided in the course of the study.
47 SERAC & Another v Nigeria, ACHPR, 2001, 15th Annual Activity of the African Commission 2001, 2002. Banjul, the Gambia.
48 Olowu An integrative rights-based approach to human development in Africa (2009) 155.
49 See the Katangese Peoples' Congress v Zaire (the Katangese case) (2000) AHRLR 72 (ACHPR 1995).
50 Ougergouz African Charter on human and peoples ' rights - A comprehensive agenda for human dignity and sustainable democracy in Africa (2003) 204 & 211.
51 Olowu 155.
52 Ibid.
53 Communication 227/99, Democratic Republic of the Congo v Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda Annex IV, 20th Annual Activity Report of the African Commission, 111.
54 Communications, 266/2003; 26th Annual Activity Report of the African Commission, Annex IV.
55 Idem par 179.
56 Idem par 1 80.
57 Morel 55; Morel "Defending Human Rights in Africa: The Case for Minority and Indigenous Rights" 2004 Essex Human Rights Review 55; see also Nmehielle The African human rights system, Its law, practice, and institutions. (2001)143.
58 The Katangese case, para 5.
59 Guidelines for National Periodic Reports, Second Activity Report of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (adopted June 1989), Annex XII, Guidelines para. III.2, art 19.
60 Declaration on a Code of Conduct for Inter-African Relations, Assembly of Heads of State and Government, 30th Ordinary Session, Tunis, Tunisia, 1994-06-13-15. Par 4 reads: "We reaffirm our deep conviction that friendly relations among our peoples as well as peace, justice, stability and democracy, call for the protection of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of all our people including national minorities and the creation of conditions conducive to the promotion of this identity".
61 Morel 55.
62 Sing'Oei "The Endorois Of Kenya: From Non-Beneficiaries To Active Stakeholders" - Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources (2010) 2 available at content/attachments/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4828:the-endorois-of-kenya-from-non-beneficiaries-to-active-stakeholders&catid=55:africa-indigenous-peoples&Itemid=77 (accessed 2011-06-07).
63 Report of the African Commission's Working Group of Experts on Indigenous Populations/Communities submitted in accordance with the "Resolution on the Rights of Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa" adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights at its 28th ordinary session (Published by IWGIA, 2005), see Chapter 4.
64 Endorois case par 150.
65 Idem par 156-157.
66 Idem par 64.
67 Ibid.
68 SERAC case par 60. For more analysis on this see Olowu 153 & 154.
69 Okafor "'Righting' the right to development: A socio-legal analysis of article 22 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights" in Implementing the right to development - The role of international law (ed Marks)(2008) 55.
70 Sing'Oei op cit.
71 Endorois case par 128.
72 Idem par 277.
73 Communication 276/2003, para 289.
74 SERAC case par 48 &52.
75 Gumne case par 206.
76 Art 61 ACHPR.
77 Olowu 154.
78 Ibid.

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