Fundamental Rights and Liberties

Title II Fundamental Rights and Liberties

Article 10: Right to Life, General Liberty

1. The human person is sacred and has the right to life.

2. The State shall have the absolute obligation to respect and protect him. Every citizen shall have the right to the free development and the full flowering of his person in his psychological, intellectual, spiritual, material, and social dimensions in respect of the rights of others, public order, and good mores.

Article 11: Equality, Gender Equality, Liability

1. The State shall assure the equality of all citizens before the law, without discrimination of origin, social or material situation, racial, ethnic and regional origin, sex, instruction, language, attitude vies religion and philosophy, or place of residence. It shall respect all the rights and liberties within limits compatible with public order and good mores.

2. The State shall have the duty to strive for the elimination of any form of discrimination with regard to women and to assure the protection of their rights in all domains of private and public life such as stipulated in the international Declarations and Conventions ratified by the Congo.

3. Any act which accords privileges to nationals or limits their rights by reason of the considerations targeted in Paragraph (1) shall be punished by the penalties provided for by law.

Article 12: Personal Liberty, Presumption of Innocence

The liberty of the human person is inviolable. One shall be accused, arrested, or detained only in the cases determined by law and according to the forms which it prescribes. Every accused shall be presumed innocent until his guilt shall be established at the end of a procedure offering him the guaranties of a defense.

Article 13: Detention

No one shall be incarcerated except in the cases provided by law.

Article 14: No Exceptional Jurisdiction

Under reserve of the provisions provided by the present Constitution and for a scrupulous respect for the human person, every exceptional use of judicial power shall be banished.

Article 15: Nulla Poena Sine Lege

The law shall only establish penalties strictly and evidently necessary, and one shall only be punished in virtue of a law established and promulgated anterior to the infraction and equally applied.

Article 16: No Torture, Liability

Any act of torture, any cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment shall be prohibited. Anyone found guilty of the acts enunciated in the present article, shall be punished according to the law.

Article 17: Right to Resistance

Any citizen may oppose the execution of an order received when it touches the rights and liberties contained in the present Constitution.

Article 18: Petition, Appeal

Each citizen shall have the right to introduce a written demand to the appropriate organ of the State.

Article 19: Recourse to the Courts

Any citizen subjected to a prejudice by an act of the administration shall have the right to judicial recourse.

Article 20: Recognition of Juridical Personality

Each citizen shall have the right in any place to the recognition of his juridical personality.

Article 21: Citizenship

Every Congolese shall have the right to Congolese citizenship. Neither it nor his right to change nationality shall be arbitrarily taken from him.

Article 22: Movement

1. Every citizen shall possess the right to freely circulate on the national territory.

2. He shall only be hindered by road blocks in conditions determined by law.

3. Every citizen shall have the right to freely choose his place of residence. He shall have the right to freely leave the national territory, if he is not the object of judicial proceedings, and to return thereto.

Article 23: Searches

Searches, in all forms, shall be authorized only in conditions determined by law.

Article 24: Home

The home is inviolable. Searches shall only be ordered in the forms and conditions prescribed by law.

Article 25: Association, Political Parties

Each citizen shall have the right to create a party, syndicate, associations, or to adhere to them.

Article 26: Religion, Civic Duties

1. Freedom of belief and conscience and the freedom of either a religious or philosophical profession are inviolable.

2. The free exercise of religious sects shall be guaranteed within the limits compatible with public order and good mores.

3. No one shall be relieved from fulfilling a civic duty because of religious opinion.

Article 27: Expression, Media, Information

1. Every citizen shall have the right to freely express and diffuse his opinion by speech, by writing, and by image.

2. Freedom of the press and freedom of information shall be guaranteed.

3. Censure shall be prohibited.

4. Access to sources of information shall be free.

5. Every citizen shall have the right to information and communication.

Activities relative to these domains shall be exercised in total independence in respect of the law.

Article 28: Secrecy of Communication

Secrecy of letters, correspondence, telecommunications or any other form of communication shall not be violated except in the case prescribed by law.

Article 29: Assembly

1. All citizens shall have the right to peacefully assemble, without previous authorization or declaration.

2. Peaceful assemblies and manifestations in the public shall be regulated.

3. Freedom to have a parade shall be guaranteed.

4. The law shall determine the conditions of its use.

Article 30: Property

1. Property and the right to succession shall be guaranteed. Transfer and expropriation shall only be allowed under the condition of a just and prior indemnification.

2. In case of contestation, the proprietor shall be responsible for seating the competent tribunals.

Article 31: Work, Labor Equality, No Forced Labor, No Slavery

1. Work is a sacred right and duty. The State shall guarantee the freedom to work. Every citizen shall have the right to be compensated according to his work and his capacity. For the same work, a woman shall have the right to the same salary as a man.

2. Any discrimination based on race, sex, physical state, regional and ethnic origin, ideology, religion, or philosophy shall be prohibited.

3. Except for the agents of the Public Force, Congolese citizens shall possess the freedom to unionize and to strike. No one shall be submitted to forced labor, except in the case of a liberty-depriving sentence pronounced by a tribunal. No one shall be reduced to slavery.

Article 32: Enterprise

Every person shall have the right to enterprise in the economic sectors of his choice in respect of the laws and regulations.

Article 33: Rest, Leisure, Paid Vacation, Holidays

Every person shall have the right to rest and leisure notably to a legal limitation to the duration of work and periodic paid vacations as well as remuneration for holidays.

Article 34: Health, Aged, Handicapped

1. The State is the guarantor of public health. Every citizen shall have the right to a level of life sufficient to assure his health, his well-being and that of his family, notably food, clothing, shelter, medical care as well as necessary social services.

2. The right to create private socio-sanitation establishments shall be guaranteed. Socio-sanitation establishments shall be submitted to the approval of the state and regulated by law.

3. Aged or handicapped persons shall have the right to specific measures of protection coinciding with their physical and moral needs.

Article 35: Culture

1. Citizens shall possess a right to culture and to the respect of their cultural identity. All the communities composing the Congolese Nation shall possess the freedom to use their languages and their own culture without prejudicing those of others.

2. The State shall have the duty to safeguard and promote the national values of civilization, such spiritual materials as well as cultural traditions.

Article 36: Intellectual Freedom and Property

The freedom of intellectual, artistic, scientific, and technological creation shall be guaranteed to each citizen. Intellectual property shall be protected by law. The sequestration, seizure, confiscation, interdiction, and destruction of all or part of any publication, entry, or any other manner of information and communication shall only be performed in virtue of a judicial decision.

Article 37: Education

1. Every person shall have the right to education. All instruction shall be placed under the surveillance and control of the State. The State shall strive for equal access to education and professional instruction.

2. Public instruction shall be free. Fundamental instruction shall be obligatory.

3. Scholarship shall be obligatory until the age of sixteen years.

4. The right to create private schools shall be guaranteed. Private school shall be submitted to the approval of the State and regulated by law.

Article 38: Family

1. The State shall have the obligation to assist the family in its mission as guardian of the morality and traditional values recognized by the community.

2. The State shall have the duty to assure the protection of the Rights of the mother and infant as stipulated in the International Declarations and Conventions.

Article 39: Marriage

1. Marriage and the family shall be under the protection of the State. The law shall fix the juridical conditions of marriage and the family.

2. Legal marriage shall only be contracted before the organs of the State. It shall only be concluded with the free and clear consent of the future spouses.

Article 40: Children, Parents, Child Equality

1. Parents shall have rights and responsibilities regarding their children. Children shall have rights and duties toward their parents.

2. Children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall have the same rights.

Article 41: Child Education, Child Support

1. Children shall only be separated from their family, which shall be responsible for their education, in virtue of the law.

2. The mother and the child shall have the right to aid and assistance of the State.

Article 42: Child Protection, Child Nationality

1. Every child, without a single discrimination based on race, color, sex, language, religion, national, social or ethnic origin, fortune or birth, shall have the right, on the part of his family, society, and the State to measures of protection which stem from his condition as a minor.

2. Every child shall be declared to the Civil State after his birth within a time period fixed by law and have a name.

3. Every child shall have the right to acquire a nationality.

Article 43: No Child Exploitation or Labor

1. The State shall protect all children and adolescents from economic and social exploitation.

2. Child labor of those under 16 years shall be prohibited.

Article 44: Youth Employment

The act of employing those under 18 years of age in those occupations of a nature compromising their morality or their health putting their lives in danger or hindering their normal development shall be sanctioned by law.

Article 45: Parental Liabilities

The law shall sanction insufficiency of parents in the matter of education and the protection of their children.

Article 46: Environment

Each citizen shall have the right to a healthy, satisfactory, and enduring environment and the duty to defend it. The State shall strive for the protection and the conservation of the environment.

Article 47: Waste Management, Pollution Compensation

1. Storing, manipulating, incinerating, and discharging toxic, polluting or radio- active wastes originating in factories and other industrial or artisan units installed on the national territory shall be regulated by law.

2. All pollution resulting from an economic activity shall give compensation for the benefit of the populations of the exploited zones.

3. The law shall determine the nature of compensatory measures and the forms of their execution.

Article 48: Polluting Liabilities

1. The transport, importation, storage, concealment, dumping, in the continental waters and maritime space under the national jurisdiction and including the exclusive economic zone, and dispersal in the airspace, of toxic, polluting, or radioactive wastes or any other dangerous product of a foreign origin shall constitute a crime punishable by law.

2. Any accord relative to these domains shall be prohibited.

Article 49: War Crimes

War crimes, political crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide shall be prescriptivism.

Article 50: Minority Rights

The State shall guarantee the rights of minorities.

Article 51: Asylum, Immigration

1. The State shall accord the right of asylum on his territory to foreign exiles persecuted by reason of their action in favor of democracy, the fight for national liberation, or the fight against racism and apartheid, the freedom of scientific and cultural work, and for the defense of Human Rights and the Rights of Peoples conforming to laws and regulations in force.

2. Immigration shall be submitted to the law.

Article 52: Rights of Foreigners

Foreigners shall possess on the territory of the Republic of the Congo, the same rights and liberties as Congolese citizens except those enumerated in Articles 5, 6, 7, and 25, and conforming to laws and regulations in force. At all times, their right to form apolitical associations and to adhere to them shall be recognized.

Article 53: Right to Peace

The Congolese people shall have the right to peace.

Article 54: Right to Resources

The Congolese People shall have the inalienable prescriptivism right to possess their riches and natural resources.

Article 55: Right to Development

The Congolese People shall have the right to economic, cultural, and social development.