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MRG-sponsored film wins place in Human Rights Watch Film Festival

12 June 2008

Rightful Place tells the story of the impact of displacement on individual, identity and community through the personal stories of members of the Endorois community of the Rift Valley, Kenya.

In 1974, the Endorois community were evicted from their land by the Kenyan government to make way for the Lake Bogoria game reserve and tourist resort. From generation to generation, the community has continued to struggle for reparation for their loss and restitution to their land. Yet, their efforts have been met by successive Kenyan governments only with denial and harassment.

With support from MRG's legal department, the Endorois community have taken their claim to the highest regional human rights body, the African Commission on Human and People's Rights, to challenge the lack of consultation or compensation for the forced displacement they suffered, and the lack of protection afforded to their traditional way of life.

Cynthia Morel, MRG's Senior Legal Adviser says, "It is increasingly accepted that few, if any, limitations on indigenous resource rights are appropriate, because the indigenous ownership of land and resources is associated with the most important and fundamental human rights. This case is of utmost significance as it provides the opportunity to address past wrongs; wrongs that have been left to linger in silence for well over a generation."

Rightful Place was produced by CEMIRIDE and WITNESS in collaboration with MRG and will be screened at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York on 14 and 16 June 2008.