The Comprehensive Strategy on Combating Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo
In response to UNSC Res 1794 MONUC with the support of the UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict Network, the Comprehensive Strategy on Combating Sexual Violence in the DRC was developed. Produced by the Office of the UN Senior Adviser and Coordinator for Sexual Violence, it puts forward a common framework for action for all those working to combat sexual violence in DRC.
The Comprehensive Strategy was officially endorsed by the Government of the DRC on April 1, 2009 and is the result of an extensive consultation process at provincial, national and international levels with key UN entities, INGOs, governmental and civil society actors involved in programs and advocacy on sexual violence. It has been integrated into the UN’S Security and Stabilization Support Strategy for the Eastern DRC and the Humanitarian Action Plan.
The Comprehensive Strategy is made up of 5 components each led by a specialist UN agency. An Operational Plan that put the strategy into action was then developed. It highlighted the fifth and final pillar dedicated to the collection and analysis of data on sexual violence. The enormity and importance of this task will not simply improve our understanding of the dynamics of this violence but offer insight into the most effective responses that may end it.
Each of the five components is led by a UN agency or MONUC section:
1. Protection and prevention (UNHCR)
2. Ending impunity for perpetrators (Joint Human Rights Office - MONUC/OHCHR)
3. Security sector reform (MONUC SSR)
4. Assistance for victims of sexual violence (UNICEF)
5. Data and mapping (UNFPA)
The total appeal for the implementation of the Operational Plan between 2009 - 2011 is US $56million. To date actual (not pledged) donations within the STAREC funding Facility in support of this Plan are less than 20%.
The Operational Plan and costing was endorsed by the Government of the DRC in November 2009. It was then integrated into the Government’s National Strategy against Gender Based Violence as a priority action plan for addressing sexual violence in the East. This was developed by the Ministry of Gender, Family and Children, and launched in Kinshasa on the 25-26 November with the support of several UN agencies and MONUC.
The prioritization and implementation of the activities of the Comprehensive Strategy will be coordinated by UN agencies and their governmental counterparts for each of the five components.
The MONUSCO Sexual Violence Unit
The recently established Sexual Violence Unit was created to support the Government of the DRC in implementing the 2009 Comprehensive Strategy on Combating Sexual Violence in the DRC. Responsibility for overall coordination will rest in the hands of the Ministry of Gender and the MONUSCO Sexual Violence Unit. Its role is primarily one of coordination, a significant feat in a fragile state the size of Western Europe. By working with, and providing valuable information to, Government Ministries, UN agencies, donors and both local and international civil society the Unit facilitates the prevention, protection and response to sexual violence across the country.
- In consultation with the Government, UN agencies, and relevant MONUSCO sections develop an action plan on the implementation of the comprehensive strategy, regularly update and follow up on the work plans and budgets for its implementation
- Develop indicators and monitor regularly the implementation of activities and of gaps related to the Strategy action plan
- Support the component coordinators to mobilize actors and resources to ensure the full implementation of the Strategy
- Regularly report against indicators on the progress of the Strategy
- Support the facilitation of WG and Committee meetings on the implementation of the Strategy
- Support partners to solve problems related to the Strategy’s implementation
- Provide strategic and technical advice to the ministries involved in the implementation of the Strategy
- Work with UN agencies and MONUC sections to mobilize resources to implement the Strategy
The Sexual Violence Unit in Goma works with the Stabilization Unit using the same tools for planning, reporting, mapping and evaluation.