Congolese law on pygmies is welcomed by UN expert

A law to protect pygmies in the Republic of Congo has been welcomed by the United Nations independent expert on the rights of indigenous peoples.

James Anaya

James Anaya says the law, adopted last month, is the first of its kind on the African continent and provides a good example for other African countries.

Charles Appel reports.

Professor Anaya says the adoption of the law marks a significant step in recognizing the rights of marginalized indigenous peoples in the Republic of Congo.

These peoples include the Baaka, Mbendjele, Mikaya, Luma, Gyeli, Twa and Babongo, collectively known as Pygmies.

Professor Anaya, who paid an 11-day visit to the Congo in November 2010, said he expects the President to promulgate the law.

He stressed that effective implementation of the law will require a strong and concerted effort by government authorities given the disadvantages that pygmies in Congo still face.

Charles Appel, United Nations.

(duration: 39″)

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