Tribal peoples group launched in UK parliament

May 22, 2007

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The UK’s first parliamentary group for tribal peoples will be launched at Westminster on Wednesday 23 May at a reception to be attended by Bushman leader Roy Sesana, TV stars Bruce Parry and Ray Mears, and MPs including Labour ‘s Diane Abbott and the Conservative John Bercow.

The group will be chaired by Cheltenham Liberal Democrat MP Martin Horwood, with Diane Abbott as secretary. Former Minister for International Development Clare Short and veteran human rights campaigner Lord Avebury are also among those who have joined the group.

The group has been set up with Survival’s support ‘to promote action inside and outside parliament in support of tribal peoples’, and ‘to ensure that government does all it can to protect threatened tribal peoples’.

Martin Horwood said today, ‘I'm delighted to see the all-party campaign for tribal peoples taking off in Parliament. MPs can play an important part in raising awareness of tribal peoples’ rights generally but can also directly influence government. 45 MPs have already signed an Early Day Motion welcoming the Botswana High Court judgement in favour of the Bushmen.

‘Our next campaign will be to encourage UK ratification of International Labour Organisation Convention 169 (ILO 169), which recognises the right of Indigenous peoples to collective ownership of their land. Survival staff and supporters have worked tirelessly on these issues for years. Now it's time for MPs to play their part.’

For further information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]