War Congo Essay

War Congo Essay-69
INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY One of the most disturbing features of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been the widespread and systematic use of children aged under 18 as fighters, porters, domestic servants or sexual possessions by government forces and armed groups.It is estimated that at least 30,000(1) children were attached to the armed forces and armed groups in the conflict zones of eastern DRC, constituting up to 40 per cent of some forces.METHODOLOGY AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This report is the outcome of research conducted by Amnesty International during 20, including through visits to regions of eastern DRC and the capital, Kinshasa.

INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY One of the most disturbing features of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been the widespread and systematic use of children aged under 18 as fighters, porters, domestic servants or sexual possessions by government forces and armed groups.It is estimated that at least 30,000(1) children were attached to the armed forces and armed groups in the conflict zones of eastern DRC, constituting up to 40 per cent of some forces.METHODOLOGY AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This report is the outcome of research conducted by Amnesty International during 20, including through visits to regions of eastern DRC and the capital, Kinshasa.

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By the end of June 2006, CONADER had not implemented a single community-based economic reintegration project for children.(8) Child educational and vocational reintegration activities that are underway in the communities are being provided wholly by international and national child protection NGOs, but these NGOs do not have the capacity or resources to make up for the wider obligations and responsibilities of the DRC state.

In the course of its research, Amnesty International met with many released children who were not benefiting from any form of support, including some who were living on the street.

These human rights defenders, with limited resources and often under situations of physical threat, work on behalf of children and other victims of human rights abuse in the DRC with exceptional courage.

Amnesty International calls on the DRC government and international community to recognize and support the work of these defenders, and to provide them with greater protection.

Girls were estimated to represent up to 40 per cent of these children(2) and in early 2005 it was believed that around 12,500 girls were associated with the armed forces and groups.(3) Some children interviewed by Amnesty International were aged as young as six when they were recruited.

Under international law, the recruitment and use of children under 15 is considered a war crime, and the recruitment and use of children under 18 is prohibited.

In areas of eastern DRC where insecurity persists, other children continue to be recruited, including some who had only recently been demobilised and who are especially vulnerable to re-recruitment.

Some are re-recruited by force; others are effectively pushed back into the armed groups because the DRC government has not provided them with meaningful support once returned to their communities.

Both programmes have continued to suffer from severe challenges.

Ongoing insecurity in eastern DRC has also disrupted and at times threatened to undermine the programmes.

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