HC Deb 08 September 2003 vol 410 c81W
Angus Robertson

To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what criteria the Department applies to the classification of groups of people as indigenous peoples; how these criteria apply to the classification of the(a) Gana, (b) Gwi and (c) Bakgalagadi peoples of Botswana; what discussions the Department has had with the Government of Botswana on this issue; and if he will make a statement. [128044]

Hilary Benn

There is no universally agreed definition of the criteria for classifying certain groups as indigenous people. The Government does not have its own hard and fast definition. We recognise that indigenous people are often particularly poor and vulnerable, and encourage governments to consult carefully with them about their needs and interests. We have discussed the situation of San communities in Botswana at ministerial level on several recent occasions.

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