World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Congo: Rights Groups Urge Indigenous Protection


CONGO: Human rights groups urge legal protection for indigenous communities

NGOs in the Republic of Congo have urged the country's president to adopt a draft law aimed at protecting indigenous people, who, they say, are often discriminated against and whose rights are violated.

The appeal was made at news conference on 27 November by the Congolese human rights watchdog Observatoire Congolais des Droits de l'Homme (OCDH) and its partners, a few days after the launch of an international petition to the president to initiate a process of adopting legislation on the rights of indigenous people.

The petition was initiated by the Rainforest Foundation, a global organisation which supports people living in and around the world's rainforests, with support from the University of Arizona, and was signed by more than 1,500 people.

In July, OCDH called for the swift adoption of a law drafted in 2006 to guard against abuses suffered by indigenous peoples. The draft of the law, a first in Africa, was developed with input from OCDH and forest communities with the Rainforest Foundation.

According to official statistics, about 700,000 indigenous people live in central Africa, mainly in the Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and the Central African Republic.

In August, a national network to promote their interests was formed in Congo. The Réseau National des Peuples autochtones du Congo (RENAPAC) was formed after the first forum for central Africa's indigenous people, held in August 2007.

"Like our foreign partners, we launch a call to the president of the republic to adopt this law," said Roch Euloge Nzobo, in charge of the programmes at the OCDH.

Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso has expressed willingness to facilitate the adoption of the draft law.

Human rights campaigners have, however, said the process seems to have stalled.

"Since the arrival of Aime Emmanuel Yoka as minister for justice in February 2007, the process has been blocked. The initiative has hit a dead end at the ministry," said Nzobo.

There are several groups of indigenous communities, often referred to as "Pygmies", in Congo's forests, including the Baka, Bakola, Aka, Babongo, Bambuti and Batwa, who have often complained of being marginalised and shunned by other communities. OCDH says the communities suffer discrimination, exploitation and disrespect.

ai/jn/mw

ENDS

More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news