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Press Release - Presentation of the Recommendations of the International Tribunal on Evictions for the Case of Wildlife Conservation evictions, Laikipia County, Kenya

As human rights violations have been proven, the government of Kenya must stop evictions of Maasai people and persecution and murdered of human rights defenders in Laipikia County and establish a negotiating and working table to implement the  Recommendations of the International Tribunal on Evictions. Monitoring  under the  World Zero Evictions Days in October this year and involving the United Nations.

Confirmed systematic violation of Kenya's legal obligations

The Jury of the 6th  Session of the International Tribunal on Evictions (ITE), held in Venice, Italy, from 28 to 30 September 2017, listened for two days to the testimonies, reports and recommendations of the residents and communities of the 5 continents affected by the evictions and human rights violations caused by the development of speculative tourism. The Session, at the beginning of the World Zero Evictions Days and the United Nations World Sustainable Tourism Day, was opened with the message of UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing Leilani Farha, who emphasized the relevance and the obligations of States to comply in particular with Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and confirmed its recognition and support for the International Tribunal on Evictions.
Special attention was paid to the systematic violations in the Laikipia County, Kenya, under the “wildlife conservation” banner, presented by the representatives of the communities, who provided material evidence on this subject.

Analysis of the case, confirmed by the subsequent investigation, shows that the loss of local residents’ shelter, housing and land, as well as loss of access to resources upon which their livelihood depends upon, triggers additional human rights violations of the legal obligations contracted by Kenya with the ratification of the International Covenants on Human Rights.
The Kenyan government has aggressively protected the commercial tourist interests of a few property owners through military violence against herders, belonging to the Maasai people who historically lived on the land, while  human rights advocates, defenders and activists have been murdered, arrested or intimidated.

Therefore the ITE confirms the verdict of the systematic violation over the well-being of local communities, over 500 families with 40% women and 20% children affected, leading to clear violations of both national laws and International Covenants on human rights.

The Recommendations: concrete measures to stop military activities and evictions, compensate those affected, put an end to the criminalization of human rights defenders

The ITE Recommendations  was sent to the Kenyan government urging national and local authorities to respect, protect and fulfill the Human Rights framework of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ratified by Kenya on 1 May 1972, including the General Comments and Statements of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  Urges the Kenyan authorities respect the Constitution of Kenya 2010, through art 19, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31, 60, 61, and  to respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples through art 8, 10 and 26.

The ITE  therefore called upon the Kenyan government to reaffirm its commitment to upholding the rights of Kenya’s indigenous peoples, ahead of private, commercial and foreign interests and implement it.

To this purpose concrete measures must be carried out. First, the immediate suspension in the area of all evictions, military activities and intimidations against local population, human rights defenders and journalists. Then compensate fairly the communities for the losses and establish an independent Truth Commission on the violences carried out by private militia and on the criminal prosecutions of human rights advocates and defenders.

To establish a dialogue process, an inter-institutional table must be established with all parties concerned.

The follow-up of the Recommendations,  in which the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of the Human Rights defenders will also be involved, will take place on the occasion of the World Zero Evictions Days in October 2018.

For Further informations:  

International Tribunal on Evictions - Session on tourism - 28-30 September 2017

International Tribunal on Tourism-Related Evictions
Transforming Tourism initiative

Contacts:  

Soha Ben Slama, Coordinator of the International Tribunal on Evictions (ITE), ite.coordinator @habitants.org

Cesare Ottolini, International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI), global.coordinator.iai@habitants.org

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