FIELD UPDATES - Democratic Republic of the Congo
The incidence of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is extremely high, ranging from conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) perpetrated by the DRC Army in the context of military operations in eastern DRC, by units of the DRC Police deployed to stabilize areas with receding conflict, CRSV committed by myriad Congolese and foreign armed groups, and sexual violence against migrants including on DRC’s borders with Angola. In 2019, instability increased in the eastern parts of the DRC during the post-electoral period, with North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema and Ituri provinces particularly affected. Non-State armed groups, using sexual violence to enforce control over illicit economic activities, including the exploitation of natural resources, were responsible for most cases. In 2019, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) documented 1,409 cases of CRSV which represents an increase of 34 per cent since 2018.
List of Projects
Sexual violence programme landscape in Eastern DRC
This project aimed at conducting a sexual violence programme landscape analysis in DRC. It developed a sustainable and dynamic knowledge base on the landscape of sexual violence programmes and NGO implementing partners; allowed for an understanding programming needs from the perspective of international and national grass-roots organisations combating sexual violence to inform the evolution of the response to sexual violence; and developed a sustainable platform for outreach to NGOs, raising their awareness of, and engagement with the coordination of the UN Comprehensive Strategy on combating sexual violence, incorporated into the DRC National Strategy on Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
8 June 2011 to 8 June 2013
Reinforcement of the multi-sectoral service pillar to improve access to quality life-saving services for survivors of sexual violence through strengthened coordination mechanisms
This project cemented a more comprehensive coordination within the multi-sectoral assistance (MSA) pillar under the National Strategy on GBV. The project enabled UNICEF to maintain a full-time staff member, based in Goma, whose responsibilities were both to oversee GBV coordination in conflict-affected Eastern DRC, and to ensure effective coordination with the national level in Kinshasa. Overall, these efforts led to better coordinated, safe, accessible and quality services for survivors across the conflict-affected zones. The funding also facilitated the finalisation and roll-out of the national protocols on minimum quality standards of care for survivors of sexual violence. In February 2012, the Government validated the four protocols developed and declared them the basis and guidelines for all service providers in DRC.
15 February 2012 to 30 April 2013
Strengthening the capacities of MONUSCO to implement the MARA Provisional Guidance Note, through the deployment of Women Protection Adviser (WPA)
The WPA was deployed within the UN Joint Human Rights Office (JHRO) of MONUSCO. The WPA established common standards for data collection and information storage and carried out and guided field investigations into CRSV; provided clarity on the role of different mission components through regular briefings on CRSV in Protection of Civilian forums; increased understanding of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and other government security forces on the Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements (MARA) and the listing/delisting regime through regular briefings; provided support, when required on the monitoring and implementation of the FARDC Action Plan; used their expertise in the investigation of CRSV to produce a report that served as an advocacy tool at the national and provincial levels in relation to the mass rape that occurred in September 2015 in South Kivu. This resulted in the arrest of perpetrators and the conduct of an investigation shortly thereafter.
6 June 2012 to 31 October 2015
Joint Communiqué/Framework of Cooperation
Activities from WPAs and UNCT
Preventing and responding to CRSV: what the UN is doing