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4 December 2006

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Mr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen, will visit Kenya at the invitation of the Government from 4 to 14 December 2006.

The purpose of the Special Rapporteur’s visit is to gain a better understanding of the situation that indigenous peoples, including pastoralist and hunter-gatherer communities, face in Kenya. The Special Rapporteur will place a particular attention to the challenges that these peoples face by reason of their traditional life styles and social and economic marginalization. Mr. Stavenhagen further intends to explore with the Government, local communities, civil society, the United Nations team in Kenya and other international partners how to enhance national and international responses to those challenges, on the basis of existing international and national standards regarding indigenous peoples.

In Nairobi, the Special Rapporteur is expected to have meetings with the President of the Republic and several members of the Cabinet. He will also participate in the National Seminar on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to be held on 5-6 December. Subsequently, Mr. Stavenhagen will have meetings with different indigenous communities in different areas of the country, including Narok, Nakuru, Lake Boringo, Mount Elgon, West Pokot, Marsabit, Isiolo and Laikipia. Back in the capital, the Special Rapporteur will give a lecture at the University of Nairobi, on 13 December, where he will address the issue of indigenous peoples and poverty, building on the focus of this year’s International Human Rights Day on poverty and human rights. He will also meet with the Kenyan National Human Rights Commission, several representatives from the Parliament, UN agencies and others relevant actors active in areas relevant to indigenous peoples.

Before leaving the country, the Special Rapporteur will participate at a press conference organized by the UNDP Office in Nairobi, on Thursday, 14 December. The Rapporteur’s report on his visit, including a summary of main findings and recommendations, will be presented to the fourth session of the Human Rights Council in March 2007.

For further information, please contact UNDP-Nairobi, tel: + (+254) 207 62 52 25.