Kamira Nait Sid: advocating for the rights of the Amazigh people in Algeria

The Amazigh people, also known as the Berbers, are advocating for recognition of their unique language, culture and identity in Algeria.

A campaigner for many years for her community, today, Kamira Nait Sid, an Amazigh from Algeria, promotes recognition of her community’s language, culture and identity through her work with the Association des Femmes de Kabylie (Association of Women in Kabylie).

Kamira formed the association to denounce impunity and seek justice for the Amazigh following a period of upheaval in 2001, when local Berber groups were agitating for their rights, including for their language to be given official status.

Through her participation in town meetings to promote Amazigh rights, Kamira also raises questions concerning women’s rights.

“I'm the first woman who dares enter this world usually reserved for men,” she says, adding that she is also the first woman elected to represent her district in the Amazigh ”Mouvement Citoyen de Kabylie”.

Kamira was one of the 31 Fellows selected to participate in the 2014 Indigenous Fellowship Programme of the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva. The Office launched the Programme to give participants the opportunity to learn more about the United Nations and how it can assist in the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. When the Fellows return to their communities, they can use this knowledge to advance human rights.

Since the launch of the Indigenous Fellowship in 1997, nearly 300 indigenous men and women have participated in the training programme in Geneva. In addition to the familiarisation with the UN system, human rights instruments and mechanisms, the indigenous fellows also take part in the annual session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the group of experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to advise on indigenous issues.

16 October 2014

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