IWGIA Report 13: Cameroon - What Future for the Baka?
Indigenous Peoples' Right and Livelihood Opportunities in South-East Cameroon
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The Baka of south-east Cameroon are a group of indigenous peoples facing an increasingly uncertain future as their traditional lands have been almost entirely taken away from them, mainly to be allocated to international logging and mining companies. As a result, many Baka communities have been forced to leave their traditional lands and nomadic lifestyles, and have gradually begun to settle near and along roadsides, only to find entirely new kinds of problems and challenges. There are still Baka choosing to remain in the forest, far from the modern world, but the time might come when they, too, are left with little option but to integrate into a society that finds it hard to respect them, or accept them as they are.
The land dispossession and forced assimilation pose serious human rights challenges for the Baka. In addition, the Baka are facing other violations such as discrimination; lack of recognition, consultation, and representation; and a complete lack of influence on decisions which have a fundamental bearing on their future and survival as a people.