UNJHRO Report on progress and obstacles in the fight against impunity for sexual violence in the DRC
This report of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) presents an analysis of the trends in sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from January 2010 until December 2013. It describes progress made by Congolese authorities in prosecuting crimes of sexual violence, and identifies obstacles in the fight against impunity for such crimes. It also makes recommendations to overcome such obstacles. The period between January 2010 and December 2013 analyzed in this report has been characterized by the persistence of incidents of sexual violence that were extremely serious due to their scale, their systematic nature and the number of victims. During that period, the UNJRHO registered more than 3,600 victims of sexual violence throughout the DRC. In recent years, some progress has been observed in the fight against impunity for sexual violence crimes. Nonetheless, most cases of sexual violence are never investigated or prosecuted, and very few are even reported. One of the main obstacles is that many victims do not report incidents for fear of retaliation by the alleged perpetrators, stigmatization and/or rejection by their families and communities.
Date of publication: 9 April 2014