12.04.10 12:08 Age: 2 yrs

Congolese church and government representatives to discuss human rights


The national president of the ECC Bishop Pierre Marini Bodho is one of the speakers at the workshop. Photo: Fredrick Nzwili/WCC

Human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will be the topic of a workshop bringing together high-level representatives of government, churches and international organisations in the country's capital Kinshasa, 13-17 April.


Speakers at the workshop include the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Margaret Sekaggya, the DRC justice minister Luzolo Bambi, as well as the ministers in charge of planning, economy and gender issues, the national president of the Church of Christ in Congo (ECC) Bishop Pierre Marini Bodho, the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) vice-president Methodist Bishop David Yemba, as well as other prominent representatives of state, church and civil society.


The workshop is organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) with the co-operation of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). It is part of a three-year project of WCC for human rights defenders in Africa, funded by the European Commission. The workshop is hosted by the coordination committee of WCC member churches in the DRC.


Participants come from the different provinces of DRC as well as neighbouring Angola, Rwanda and Burundi. They include human rights practitioners and clergy of the Lutheran, Kimbanguist, Orthodox, Methodist, Anglican churches and Roman Catholic, the ECC, the Salvation Army, Pax Christi, the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa, as well as government and UN officials, ambassadors from different countries and a number of civil society organizations.


"There has been limited improvement in the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo, over the last couple of years. It is in this context that this workshop is taking place, hoping to provide a space where national and international stakeholders can discuss the major challenges the country is facing and the role the Churches can play in order to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights," says WCC programme executive for Human Rights Christina Papazoglou.


Media contact in Kinshasa: Christina Papazoglou, +243-


WCC member churches in the DRC


WCC work on human rights


WCC Central Committee, September 2009: Statement on sexual violence against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo


WCC Living Letters visit to the DRC, 8-15 July 2009