Congo: Mission Working Group Indigenous Populations / Communities, 2010


The Working Group on Indigenous Populations (WGIP) of the African Commission undertook a mission to the Republic of Congo from 15 to 24 March 2010. The delegation consisted of:

  • Commissioner Musa Ngary Bitaye, Chairman of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations;
  • Commissioner Soyata Maïga, member of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations;
  • Dr Albert Barume, member of the Working Group;
  • Dr. Robert Eno, Principal Legal Officer at the Secretariat of the African Commission, accompanied the mission.

The objectives of the mission were to:

  • Collect information on the situation of the indigenous population in Congo;
  • Discuss with the Government of the Republic of Congo the situation of the indigenous population in particular, and the country‟s relations with the ACHPR in general;
  • Discuss with civil society about their role in the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous population in Congo;
  • Meet the indigenous communities in order to understand the problems they encounter in matters pertaining to the enjoyment of their fundamental rights ;
  • Discuss with the Government of the Republic of Congo the specific situation of the indigenous women and children;
  • Engage with the stakeholders in connection with the new Act passed in Congo for the for the benefit of the indigenous population ;
  • Disseminate the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.


To the Government of the Republic of Congo

  1. Initiate without any further delay the process of implementation of Act No. 5-2011 of 25 February 2011 on the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous population;
  2. Organise a national census of indigenous population and ensure that the technical institutions produce disaggregated statistical information on the living conditions of the indigenous populations;
  3. Guarantee the representation of indigenous population in public and community institutions and ensure gender equity;
  4. Guarantee access to the justice system by the indigenous populations especially by establishing a free legal aid mechanism within the immediate surroundings;
  5. Take all appropriate steps towards the issuance of identity cards and systematic registration of births and marriages by equipping the technical agencies with adequate resources tailored to the lifestyle of the indigenous populations;
  6. Establish a school system adapted to the lifestyle, needs and inherent constraints in the daily lives of the indigenous population;
  7. Establish school canteens and operationalise free educational supplies including the introduction of incentives to encourage the teaching personnel to go to the indigenous communities and in particular provide training for indigenous teachers;
  8. Incorporate elements of indigenous culture and identity into teaching and literacy curricula;
  9. Develop a technical and professional teaching by taking into account indigenous know-how and economy;
  10. Provide well –equipped health centres stocked with adequate medicines and endowed with qualified staff within the communities where the indigenous people live;
  11. Provide training for health personnel from the indigenous communities in terms of supervision and capacity building for traditional birth attendants;
  12. Develop targeted sensitisation campaigns and initiate community actions to ensure that the indigenous population familiarise themselves with : immunisation, antenatal and postnatal controls, HIV/AIDS screening ; monitoring of chronic parasitic diseases among the indigenous communities;
  13. Provide support in different ways, including provision of financial assistance for the promotion and practice of traditional medicine by the indigenous population;
  14. Recognise and protect the customary land entitlement of the indigenous population, demarcate and provide title deeds for land;
  15. Guarantee the participation of the indigenous population in the exploitation, conservation and management of natural resources in their traditional native communities;
  16. Promote income-generating activities and facilitate market access for products originating from economic activities and traditional vocations of the indigenous population;
  17. Guarantee to the indigenous populations equitable conditions for access and right to employment;
  18. Take appropriate measures with a view to ensuring effective protection of the indigenous populations from all forms of violence, servitude and practices bordering on slavery and also ensure that the perpetrators and accomplices of these acts are prosecuted and punished according to law;
  19. Strengthen the sub-regional component of promoting cultural rights and the identity of the indigenous populations by way of organising Inter-State festivals and meetings as a means of ownership of the said initiatives and policies by the communities themselves;
  20. Support and strengthen the capacity of indigenous organisations as well as civil society oprganisations working in the field of rights of indigenous people;
  21. Take appropriate measures for the ratification and implementation of Convention No.169 of the ILO concerning indigenous people.

Recommendations to the International Community:

  1. Provide technical, material and financial assistance to the Government of the Republic of Congo for the effective implementation of the Act on promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous population;
  2. Provide material and financial support for community, local and national stakeholders working towards promoting and protecting the rights of the indigenous population;
  3. Promote collaboration among all the stakeholders to enhance the harmonisation of programmes, actions and plans among all stakeholders operating in the area of rights of indigenous persons in order to maximize the impact on indigenous communities.

Recommendation to the National Commission on Human Rights, NGOs and other civil society organisations:

  1. Contribute to the popularisation of the Act concerning the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous people, in particular, by organising seminars, translating the Act into local languages and engaging in mass media campaigns etc.;
  2. Initiate capacity building programmes among the indigenous people concerning their rights and take measures for the sensitisation of the dominant groups about the rights of the indigenous population.