A new law was adopted in late December by the Senate of the Republic of Congo that grants children of Indigenous populations legal basis to access health care, education, and protection. The law, which is set to make Congo the first country in Africa to provide specific legal protection to Indigenous peoples, has been hailed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as “a great step forward”. Indigenous peoples make up about 10 percent of the Congolese population and are “the poorest of the poor”. James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, has also commended the adoption, and calls for “effective implementation… [which] will require strong and concerted effort by government authorities at all levels”. Other views from human rights organizations and government officials in the Republic of Congo can be read here.
New Law on Indigenous Peoples in Republic of Congo