The Observatoire Congolais des Droits de l´Homme (OCDH) has recently been named as one of 5 organisations from around the world to receive the 2015 Human Rights Prize from the French Republic (France), for their project that promotes respect for the rights of local and indigenous communities in the Republic of Congo affected by natural resource exploitation by multi-national companies (ex. oil, timber, minerals). The project involves supporting companies to better understand their social responsibilities, training NGOs and local populations about their rights and mechanisms to defend them, and encouraging the government to adopt enforceable measures so that community rights are respected. The French Prime Minister awards the Human Rights Prize on December 10th each year to mark International Human Rights Day and in the spirit of the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, to recognise concrete actions and projects aimed at protecting and promoting human rights.
OCDH is a civil society organisation in the Republic of Congo that focuses on promoting and defending human rights abuses in the country. Well Grounded started working with OCDH in early 2011 by supporting the organisations’ members and staff to review how things were working internally and how they could be improved. The process began with an external diagnostic, which identified some key challenges for OCDH to tackle and made several recommendations. In 2013 Well Grounded supported OCDH in a process of reviewing all of the recommendations and prioritising them. We then provided support to address some of the specific priorities including facilitating a General Assembly during which members reviewed and changed the OCDH statutes in order to address some important governance issues. Members also drew up and approved a Code of Ethics and Good Conduct for its staff and members to clarify the organisation’s principles and values.
Well Grounded extends its warmest congratulations to OCDH for having been selected for this Prize. It is a testament to the important work that the organisation is doing to promote and protect human rights in the Congo.
To listen to a short interview with Trésor Chardon Nzila, OCDH’s Executive Director, please visit (French only): http://www.rfi.fr/emission/20151219-ocdh-recu-prix-droits-homme-republique-francaise-taubira-brazzaville-environnement