In This Section
Congolese Human Rights Observatory
OCDH are the 'Observatoire Congolais des Droits de l’Homme'. In English, The 'Congolese Human Rights Observatory'. They are located in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
Founded in 1994, OCDH works to promote human rights, the rule of law and democracy in the Republic of Congo, focussing on the following strategic priorities:
- Defence and protection of human rights and liberties
- Harmonisation of the Congolese legal framework with international human rights norms
- Fight against impunity of human rights violations
- Promotion of good governance in the forest sector, and the rights of forest and indigenous communities
To pursue these objectives, OCDH documents human rights violations and provides legal and judicial assistance to victims, as well as carrying out constant advocacy efforts at the national level, and regional and international instances. OCDH also undertakes awareness raising and sensitisation efforts, to inform the Congolese population and galvanise social support towards the protection of human rights.
OCDH played a crucial role in the process of consultation and advocacy that led to the adoption of a national law for the rights of indigenous peoples in 2011. Currently, OCDH collaborates with indigenous organisations at the national and local level to advocate for the effective implementation of this law.
OCDH provides assistance to human rights victims in Brazzaville and Congo. OCDH also works with forest and indigenous communities to promote their collective rights in forest governance processes.
We have worked with OCDH since 2003, and our joint work has always focussed on the promotion of indigenous and forest peoples’ rights, particularly through the implementation of two large scale projects:
- Promoting an indigenous peoples’ law in Congo:
- Since 2004, RFUK and OCDH have led a nationwide consultation process with the country’s indigenous peoples, and produced an unprecedented analysis of their rights situation (available here).
- Through this project, both organisations played a leading role coordinating civil society’s participation in the drafting process of a national law for the protection and promotion of indigenous peoples’ rights.
- Both organisations maintained strong advocacy and sensitisation efforts until the law was finally ratified in February 2011. Congo was the first country in the region to adopt a law of this kind.
2. Participatory mapping to promote forest communities’ land rights:
- From 2009 to 2011, RFUK and OCDH trained a team of GIS technicians to work with 169 forest communities to map their use of their forests in terms of livelihood, social and cultural activities.
- The project included supporting communities in using these maps to defend their rights in face of overlapping land claims from logging and mining companies, the conservation sector and other actors.
- For more information on the results of this project, visit www.mappingforrights.org
Currently, RFUK and OCDH are working to analyse the impacts on forest and indigenous communities’ rights of various forest governance processes, notably agro-industrial expansion, and particularly palm oil, and strict conservation projects.
“OCDH’s and RFUK’s partnership is longstanding and excellent. It has enabled us to reach several and very positive outcomes in the Republic of Congo.” Trésor Nzila, Executive Director of OCDH