Botswana

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 20th March 2015.

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Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch UKIP

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord De Mauley on 24 February (HL4991), and in the light of the United Kingdom's special responsibility for the rights of the bushmen of the Kalahari when granting independence to Botswana in 1961, what is their assessment of whether the hunting ban imposed on the bushmen by the government of Botswana in 2014 is a prima facie breach of Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and whether they will make representations to the government of Botswana if they conclude that it is.

Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch UKIP

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord De Mauley on 24 February (HL4991), what assessment they have made of whether the hunting ban imposed on the bushmen of the Kalahari in 2014 by the government of Botswana breaches Article 1(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, by which states agree that "peoples" are not to be deprived of their means of subsistence.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

Botswana is a democracy with an independent judiciary. We have not made any assessment as to whether the Government of Botswana’s ban on hunting or any decision on the supply of food to the San constitutes a breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Botswana constitution guarantees the rights and freedoms of all Batswana irrespective of race, colour, religion, gender, political opinion or place of origin. The UK follows closely the situation of the San communities in Botswana. We will continue to encourage dialogue between the San communities and the Government of Botswana.

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