Drastic measures have to be taken to end one of the most shameful and enduring human rights violations in recent history. Since 1996, Botswana’s crusade against the Kalahari Bushmen has been a source of international criticism for the small sub Saharan nation. After a discovery of a rare mineral deposit in the Kalahari reserve, the Bushmen have had to endure their countries illegal relocation effort.
Despite a landmark court ruling in 2006, giving the Kalahari legal right to occupy their lands, Botswana heightened its inhumane policy by denying the Kalahari access to an essential water well and allowing the construction of a luxury resort t on their land. As a result, life for the indigenous tribe’s people has become unbearable as they are denied their right to hunt and have no viable source of water.
In response, the human rights advocacy group Survival International has asserted itself as the vanguard of the movement against the treatment of Botswana’s Bushmen. They accomplished this releasing a series of press releases condemning Botswana’s government as well as the corporations that profit from Kalahari persecution. Thanks to the organizations efforts activists protested, international leaders condemned, and the world became privy to the plight of the Bushmen.
On Wednesday, Survival will continue their human rights advocacy as they call for an international boycott of diamonds from Botswana. The boycott will be coupled with protests in which letters will be given to various De Beers jewel store managers in London and San Francisco; the stores are part owned by the Botswana government. Gillian Anderson and Sophie Okonedo are just a few celebrities who have chosen to co-sign Wednesday’s event.
But Despite Survivals good intentions, how significant of an effect will tomorrow’s protests have on the thousands of Bushmen dying of thirst? Even though the actions of groups like Survival are critical for swaying public sentiment, the only organization with the efficacy to save the Kalahari is the UN.