Human rights in the Republic of the Congo

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Coat of arms of the Republic of the Congo.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Republic of the Congo

The Republic of Congo gained independence from French Equatorial Africa in 1960. It was a one-party Marxist-Leninist state from 1969 to 1991. Multi-party elections have been held since 1992, although a democratically elected government was ousted in the 1997 civil war and President Denis Sassou Nguesso has ruled for 26 of the past 36 years. The political stability and development of hydrocarbon production made the Republic of the Congo the fourth largest oil producer in the Gulf of Guinea region, providing the country with relative prosperity despite instability in some areas and unequal distribution of oil revenue nationwide.[1]
The Congolese Human Right Observatory claims a number of unresolved and pending issues in the country.
Discrimination against Pygmies is widespread, the result of cultural biases, especially traditional relationships with the Bantu, as well as more contemporary forms of exploitation.

Gemeral situation[edit]

The Congolese Human Right Observatory unsatisfactory access to water and electricity, dispossession of indigenous and local communities by multinationals in complicity with the authorities, political prisoners, legal proceedings and attacks by police of foreign journalists, confiscation of political freedoms, violations of the right to a fair trial, rape and other forms of sexual assault, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, summary executions, ill-treatment in prisons, discrimination and marginalization of indigenous peoples in spite of a specific law protecting them, and threats against human rights defenders.[2]

Status of Pygmies[edit]

According to some reports, the relation between Pygmies and Bantus in some areas of the country is "strained, lopsided and, some say, abusive".[3] While some claim that the bondage is a "time-honored tradition",[3] others point at the fact that Pygmies can be paid "at the master's whim; in cigarettes, used clothing, or even nothing at all."[3]

An investigation in 2003 found that combined rebel forces ran an operation in Ituri province code-named Effacer le tableau (wiping the slate clean).[4] The aim was to rid the jungle of the Congolese pygmy population, estimated to total about 90,000. One of the groups accused of atrocities is the Ugandan-backed Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC). The Guardian reported in 2009 on the persecution and subsequent displacement of a group in Chirondo, in the Kabare territory. They were being chased out of their homes as long ago as 1968, when the forest was sold to private interests. In 1998 the attacks were renewed with greater violence until they were dispersed into nearby banana plantations.[5]

On 30 December 2010, the Congo parliament adopted a law for the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. This law is the first of its kind in Africa, and its adoption is a historic development for indigenous peoples on the continent.[6]

A report in 2015 suggests that not much has changed. Pygmies are still being persecuted, now as "poachers". A Bayaka woman in Congo said, “The ecoguards [anti-poaching squads] make us sit here starving. They have ruined our world. If we try to hunt in the forest they beat us so badly. They even kill us if they see us in the forest.” [7]

Media[edit]

For main report see Media of the Republic of the Congo

The media is classed as non-free. It is owned or controlled by the government. There is one government-owned television station, three government-owned radio stations, and three private pro-government radio stations, and a government-owned newspaper.[8]

Historical situation[edit]

The following chart shows the ROC's ratings since 1972 in the Freedom in the World reports, published annually by Freedom House. A rating of 1 is "free"; 7, "not free".[9]1

International treaties[edit]

The ROC's stances on international human rights treaties are as follows:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

1.^ Note that the "Year" signifies the "Year covered". Therefore the information for the year marked 2008 is from the report published in 2009, and so on.
2.^ As of January 1.
3.^ The 1982 report covers the year 1981 and the first half of 1982, and the following 1984 report covers the second half of 1982 and the whole of 1983. In the interest of simplicity, these two aberrant "year and a half" reports have been split into three year-long reports through interpolation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Republic of Congo profile". Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "Déclaration publique sur la journée du 10 décembre : NOS DROITS SONT EN DANGER". Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Thomas, Katie (March 12, 2007). "Congo's Pygmies live as slaves". The News & Observer. Archived from the original on 2009-02-28. 
  4. ^ "Extermination Of The Pygmies". Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "No home for Congo's pygmies". Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Poaching-terrorism link that contributed to tribes' persecution 'largely wrong'". Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "2008 Human Rights Report: Republic of the Congo". Department of State. 
  9. ^ Freedom House (2012). "Country ratings and status, FIW 1973-2012" (XLS). Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  10. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 1. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Paris, 9 December 1948". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  11. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 2. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. New York, 7 March 1966". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  12. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 3. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  13. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 4. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  14. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 5. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  15. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 6. Convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations to war crimes and crimes against humanity. New York, 26 November 1968". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  16. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 7. International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. New York, 30 November 1973". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  17. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 8. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. New York, 18 December 1979". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  18. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 9. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. New York, 10 December 1984". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  19. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11. Convention on the Rights of the Child. New York, 20 November 1989". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  20. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 12. Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. New York, 15 December 1989". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  21. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 13. International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. New York, 18 December 1990". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  22. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 8b. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. New York, 6 October 1999". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  23. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11b. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. New York, 25 May 2000". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  24. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11c. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. New York, 25 May 2000". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  25. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 15. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. New York, 13 December 2006". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  26. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 15a. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. New York, 13 December 2006". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  27. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 16. International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. New York, 20 December 2006". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  28. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 3a. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. New York, 10 December 2008". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  29. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11d. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure . New York, 19 December 2011. New York, 10 December 2008". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 

External links[edit]