Project information

Minority Rights Legal Cases

This strategic litigation programme aims to combat specific instances of violations of the rights of minority and indigenous communities across the world. In 2012, we will work for the implementation of our successful judgments and decisions and will explore a number of potential new cases.


Charity information

Minority Rights Group International (MRG)

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) logo
  • Need


    Minority & indigenous communities, and the organizations representing them, face many obstacles in seeking redress for the denial of their rights: insufficient financial resources, limited access to regional and international human rights fora, access to information, and skills necessary for developing litigation strategies.


    This project seeks to challenge discrimination experienced by minority and indigenous communities in their lives by working hand in hand with communities, local activists and their domestic lawyers. It aims to increase their capacity to engage with key national, international and regional stakeholders and advocate for their rights, both during and beyond the litigation and implementation stages of the judgments.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Strengthen the litigation efforts of minorities and indigenous people and their representatives


    » Assisting the development and drafting of the litigation strategy and supporting for representation before regional or international bodies.
    » Establishing and maintaining a working relationship with the victims and overall community and assistance with the collection of evidences.
    » Providing financial assistance required for the collection of evidence and helping cover the fees required to secure expert opinions.
    » Providing urgent financial support for communities facing imminent threats and/or violation of their rights.

    Success will be when minority and indigenous people and their representatives acquire better skills in seeking redress in the case of the denial of their rights.

    Aim 2

    Increased capacity for advocacy and representation of minorities at judicial bodies


    » Assistance with producing and translating advocacy briefs.
    » Providing financial support to partners to run in-country advocacy.
    » Holding stakeholders/community meetings to ensure minority members can express views of planned actions and ongoing developments.
    » Supporting local partners to attend various relevant international and regional fora.

    Success will be when minorities and their representatives have increased representation at domestic, regional and international judicial and quasi-judicial bodies.

    Aim 3

    Bringing individual test cases before the international bodies in order to establish precedents


    » Close work with the Endorois community in Kenya to secure their land rights.
    » Legal struggle for non-discriminatory access for minority tribes to the House of Chiefs in Botswana.
    » A new case filed with the African Commission in 2011 involving Batwa property rights in Burundi.
    » A new case on religious discrimination in Bosnia and Kosovo.

    Success will be when more individual test cases have far-reaching effects and positively influence the position of minority groups suffering similar violations in other countries.

  • Impact


    This programme seeks to deliver an improvement in minorities and indigenous peoples’ enjoyment of human rights, thereby increasing their participation in all the decision-making processes affecting their lives by creating community awareness, building their capacity, and strengthening their legal position through legal mechanisms that are available to them. Increased use and greater public attention brought to the minority rights cases will directly and indirectly strengthen the rule of law.


    Risks include fieldwork and community based activities jeopardised by civil/political unrest, outbreak of disease, or major environment disaster. However, MRG has a contingency plan that would be put into place and would encompass this project.


    Reporting to donors will take place on an annual basis, in conjunction with our main donor’s reporting guidelines.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £25,000 the Endorois community case ensuring the implementation of the ACHPR’s decision recognizing the community's land rights
      £25,000 Botswana's minority tribes supporting the community's legal struggle for non-discrimination
      £25,000 Batwa property rights engaging with the African Commission to ensure the progress of the case
      £25,000 Bosnia and Kosovo cases working with partners to undertake new cases on religious discrimination
  • Background


    The programme currently supports lead cases from: East Africa (Kenya, Botswana, Burundi, Mauritania, Tanzania), Americas (Belize), and the Western Balkans (Kosovo, Bosnia, Croatia). It is open to calls for support from partners all around the world.


    Minority and indigenous peoples all around the world and those representing them (lawyers and/or organizations), also indirectly governments, regional and international judicial and quasi-judicial bodies, who will benefit from the strengthening of the rule of law.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    There is no other NGO with MRG’s broad mandate on minority issues, nor its high reputation among minority communities, governments and UN human rights bodies. MRG has consultative status with the UN Economic & Social Council and observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Furthermore, MRG and partners in Africa have slowly begun to build up experience around minority rights and development, and are trying to link their communities into national development processes

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Minority Rights Group Will Work With Partners All Around The World

    They will support the programme with knowledge, experience, and contacts.