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conceptual mapping >  building peace  > Struggling to survive : children in armed conflict in the the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Struggling to survive : children in armed conflict in the the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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> April 2006, 72 p. (pdf)

Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) endure some of the most miserable treatment found anywhere in the world, despite outward signs of progress in DRC, such as the creation of a power-sharing transitional government, the presence of the United Nations’ largest peacekeeping operation and billions of dollars granted by donors for postconflict reconstruction. In 2006, DRC continues to endure the world’s deadliest humanitarian crisis, with more than 38,000 people dying every month as direct and indirect consequences of the armed conflict, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Approximately 45 percent of these deaths occur among children under age 18. In addition, children are targets of human rights violations committed by armed forces and groups on a daily basis. The overwhelming majority of these crimes are committed in an environment of utter impunity.

Yet, since the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict published its first report on DRC in 2003, The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, some progress has been achieved. Thousands of children have been demobilized from armed forces and groups. In some areas, the number of displaced people has dropped significantly. There has been an increase in serious efforts to confront sexual violence and exploitation. Combatants from armed groups have begun to integrate into the unified national army. Also, a new constitution was affirmed during a nationwide referendum in December 2005.

Despite these advances, Watchlist has documented continued, pervasive and egregious violations against children in DRC in each of the major categories identified by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005) on children and armed conflict. These violations include killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abduction, denial of humanitarian assistance, attacks on schools and recruitment and use of children. In addition, various other violations, such as forced displacement and torture, also continue to be committed against children and their families.

document de référence rédigé le : 1 April 2006

date of on-line publication : 14 March 2007

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