Accompany the pygmy peoples in their access to human rights, and work for the reform of the property laws in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The APPEL project started in November 2014 and is managed by AEDH in collaboration with :
- OSAPY (Organisation for accompanying and supporting the Pygmies)
- OCEAN (Congolese Organisation of Ecologists and Friends of Nature)
The project aims to combat discrimination experienced by the indigenous pygmy peoples in DRC, especially those in the provinces of Bandundu, Equator and Orientale.
In DRC the Pygmies suffer serious violations of their fundamental rights – and in particular in the territories of Inongo (Bandundu), Bikoro (Equator) and Mambasa (Orientale). In all these places there is grave discrimination. The pygmy population depend entirely on the ecosystem within which they live. Over the years they have been robbed and driven off their land, land which constituted their unique source of subsistence and the basis of their social system. As a result they find themselves marginalised within DRC society, stigmatised and have great difficulty getting access to justice, to healthcare and to education.
In this context the organisations representing the pygmy indigenous population have to confront a number of difficulties :
- the need to improve their own organisation and legal competence ;
- the absence of representatives of the pygmy population in the local, provincial and national decision making bodies ;
- their lack of dialogue with traditional leaders concerning their access to land ;
- the failure by the provincial and national parliamentarians to understand the principle of “free, informed and previous consent” which these peoples should benefit from concerning the use of their land.
The aims of the project
Through the APPEL project, AEDH and its two Congolese partners aim to :
- support and strengthen the capacity of pygmy organisations ;
- promote and defend the rights of the pygmies especially through the property sector ;
- engage public opinion to encourage a change in general behaviour towards the pygmy populations in the identified areas.