CONGO / INDIGENOUS BIRTH REGISTRATION

Preview Language:   Original
11-Nov-2021 00:07:31
More than 25,000 indigenous people in the Republic of the Congo are at risk of statelessness. Many do not have identity papers like birth certificates and live in desperately poor conditions in remote parts of the country. They often face discrimination and are forced to work in menial jobs. The government and UNHCR are working together to change their plight by providing birth certificates, a first step in ensuring they are protected. UNHCR

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STORY: CONGO / INDIGENOUS BIRTH REGISTRATION
TRT: 7:31
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: FRENCH / LINGALA / NATS

DATELINE: NOVEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

12-13 SEPTEMBER 2021 VONO VILLAGE, REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

1. Close up, Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person
2. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“People living without documents, it’s like animals walking in the forest.”
3. Med shot, Damas, his wife Marie, and their children looking on
4. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“My wife’s name is Marie Ngo Nkoli and I’m Ngolo Damas.”
5. Med shot, Damas and his family sitting together
6. Wide shot, Damas and his family sitting outside their house
7. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“I have three daughters and three sons.”
8. Med shot, Damas sitting with his children
9. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“Me? I have never been to school.”
10. Tracking, Damas’ son walking
11. Med shot, children sitting outside their house making traps
12. Close up, boy’s hands making trap
13. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“My children started going to school. After three months, they were asked for birth certificates. The children came back saying, we don’t have documents, we won’t go to school anymore. Now, they stay home.”
14. Various shots, Damas’s children sitting outside their house
15. Close up, boy looking on
16. Close up, Tiba Cyr Maixent, Advisor, Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People walking
17. Med shot, Cyr talking to women and children
18. SOUNDBITE (French) Tiba Cyr Maixent, Advisor, Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People, Republic of the Congo:
“I am Mr. Tiba Cyr Maixent. I am an Advisor for Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People to the Minister of Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People.”
19. Med shot, Cyr talking to group of indigenous people
20. SOUNDBITE (French) Tiba Cyr Maixent, Advisor, Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People, Republic of the Congo:
“Many of them do not have birth certificates, do not have civil status documents.”
21. Close up, man’s face
22. SOUNDBITE (French) Tiba Cyr Maixent, Advisor, Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People, Republic of the Congo:
“Indigenous people are a category of Congolese society, if not a social layer of our population who are very vulnerable.”
23. Wide shot, man weaving
24. SOUNDBITE (French) Tiba Cyr Maixent, Advisor, Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People, Republic of the Congo:
“And for a long time, they were people who suffered from marginalization.”
25. Close up, man’s hands weaving
26. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“I was born in a village called Ebala.”
27. Tracking, Damas’ feet as he walks
28. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“I came to this village when I was a child.”

15 SEPTEMBER 2021, CONGO RIVER, REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

29. Wide shot, Congo River

12-13 SEPTEMBER 2021 VONO VILLAGE, REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

30. Tilt up, Damas walking in forest
31. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“Sometimes I go to the forest, and I collect some asparagus.”
32. Various shots, Damas collecting asparagus in the forest
33. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“We only get small amounts to eat. There’s very little to sell, that’s why we have no money in my family and no money to buy clothes.”
34. Close up, Damas’ hands wrapping asparagus

17 SEPTEMBER 2021, KPAKAYA, REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

35. Various shots, people seated outside house

12-13 SEPTEMBER 2021, VONO VILLAGE, REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

36. Wide shot, young boy playing with sling
37. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“We don’t have enough food. There’s nothing. We are suffering a lot.”
38. Various shots, children cutting a piece of fish
39. Tilt up, Damas inside his house

24 SEPTEMBER 2021, BRAZZAVILLE, REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

40. SOUNDBITE (French) Quentin Banga, Statelessness Expert, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“You need to have documentation to escape statelessness which today is considered a serious human rights violation.”

12-13 SEPTEMBER 2021, VONO VILLAGE, REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

41. Close up, hands holding documents
42. Wide shot, officials handing out birth certificates
43. Med shot, Mawaki Ngandibi, Indigenous person holding his son as he receives his birth certificate
44. Close up, hands holding birth certificate
45. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Mawaki Ngandibi, Indigenous person:
“I am happy for my child’s birth certificate because when he grows up, I am going to send him to school. Since he received his birth certificate, he will know that his father will enroll him in school.”
46. Med shot, Mawaki holding his son
47. Close up, Mawaki’s son
48. Close up, hen walking
49. SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“I wish I could get my children’s birth certificates so that they can be admitted to school.”
50. Wide shot, children playing jump rope
51. Med shot, children playing jump rope

STORYLINE:

More than 25,000 indigenous people in the Republic of the Congo are at risk of statelessness. Many do not have identity papers like birth certificates and live in desperately poor conditions in remote parts of the country. They often face discrimination and are forced to work in menial jobs. The government and UNHCR are working together to change their plight by providing birth certificates, a first step in ensuring they are protected.

Ngolo Damas doesn’t know his real age and has never been to school.

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“People living without documents, it’s like animals walking in the forest.”

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“My wife’s name is Marie Ngo Nkoli and I’m Ngolo Damas.”

Damas and his family are some of at least 25,000 indigenous people in the Republic of Congo (RoC) who are at risk of statelessness. They don’t have identity documents and legally don’t exist.

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“I have three daughters and three sons.”

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“Me? I have never been to school.”

His children have never had birth certificates. They started going to school but without the right papers, they had to stop attending classes.

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“My children started going to school. After three months, they were asked for birth certificates. The children came back saying, we don’t have documents, we won’t go to school anymore. Now, they stay home.”

Most of the undocumented indigenous people live in dire poverty and are struggling to make ends meet. They cannot attend school, get jobs, or access services.

SOUNDBITE (French) Tiba Cyr Maixent, Advisor, Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People, Republic of the Congo:
“I am Mr. Tiba Cyr Maixent. I am an Advisor for Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People to the Minister of Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People.”

SOUNDBITE (French) Tiba Cyr Maixent, Advisor, Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People, Republic of the Congo:
“Many of them do not have birth certificates, do not have civil status documents.”

SOUNDBITE (French) Tiba Cyr Maixent, Advisor, Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People, Republic of the Congo:
“Indigenous people are a category of Congolese society, if not a social layer of our population who are very vulnerable.”

SOUNDBITE (French) Tiba Cyr Maixent, Advisor, Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of Indigenous People, Republic of the Congo:
“And for a long time, they were people who suffered from marginalization.”

In the Congo, a civil state census three years ago led to the identification of some 199,400 people – including at least 25,000 indigenous people – without birth certificates, out of a total population of almost 5.8 million. Acting on this data, the government launched an extensive countrywide operation in 2020, with the support of UNHCR, to issue birth certificates. For the indigenous people, receiving birth certificates and identity documents is a passport to a new life.

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“I was born in a village called Ebala.”

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“I came to this village when I was a child.”

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“Sometimes I go to the forest, and I collect some asparagus.”

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“We only get small amounts to eat. There’s very little to sell, that’s why we have no money in my family and no money to buy clothes.”

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“We don’t have enough food. There’s nothing. We are suffering a lot.”

The Congo’s indigenous communities are not alone in their plight. Around the world, millions of people are unable to prove their citizenship, and find themselves excluded from education, medical services and formal jobs, and are unable to move freely. Through its #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is seeking to ensure they have documentation by 2024.

SOUNDBITE (French) Quentin Banga, Statelessness Expert, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“You need to have documentation to escape statelessness which today is considered a serious human rights violation.”

UNHCR said nearly 5,000 indigenous people have received birth certificates. More people are being reached, giving them a chance to build a brighter future.

Twenty-four-year-old Mawaki Ngandibi could not be happier after his family benefited from the initiative. In September, he and his wife Nadine received a birth certificate for their 18-months-old son Doudé, at an official ceremony in Djambala.

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Mawaki Ngandibi, Indigenous person:
“I am happy for my child’s birth certificate because when he grows up, I am going to send him to school. Since he received his birth certificate, he will know that his father will enroll him in school.”

Marie and Damas registered sometime back for documents. They hope that their family will obtain their IDs soon so that they too, can overcome a lifetime of exclusion and provide a future for their children.

SOUNDBITE (Lingala) Ngolo Damas, Indigenous person:
“I wish I could get my children’s birth certificates so that they can be admitted to school.”
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UNHCR
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unifeed211111b
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2684637