Protecting Women and Girls from Human Trafficking in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Toward Justice for Victims of Gender-Based Violence
50 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2012 Last revised: 1 May 2015
Date Written: September 28, 2012
While there has been expansive study of the GBV perpetrated throughout the DRC, relatively few reports or scholarly works analyze the scope of human trafficking in the context of the DRC conflict. Similarly, according to the author of the first legal treatise on human trafficking, little research exists to show that trafficking in the context of armed conflict is prohibited by international law.
This Note recommends that international and domestic governments alter their approach to mitigating the gender-based violence (GBV) crisis in the conflict zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A more comprehensive and holistic approach is needed in the DRC. It is the opinion of the author that the best way to comprehensively protect victims in the DRC is to help the government to implement its obligations under international human trafficking law. In summary, the note demonstrates that there are three principle means for the DRC to fulfill its obligations to prevent, prosecute, and protect under international human trafficking law: (1) improve enforcement of the existing law, (2) draft new laws that fully comply with international human trafficking standards, and (3) provide for greater training and capacity to enact and support programs that provide protection for victims and prevent vulnerable populations from being trafficked. International pressure, improved monitoring, and increased technical assistance and support will equip the DRC to accomplish these goals.
Keywords: Democratic Republic of Congo, human trafficking, gender-based violence, sexual slavery, sex trafficking, conflict
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