rebel groups

Children Enlisted for War: Democratic Republic of Congo

Child soldiers at an ethnic Hema militia camp near Bunia

Although the war finished in 2003, hundreds of children die every day from hunger, disease and violence. Children are still being abducted, raped and recruited as soldiers by the armed forces and rebel groups.

  • Armed groups enlisted 25,000 children during the war - UNICEF.
  • Girls are raped and forced to become sex slaves to fighters.
  • U.N. peacekeepers stand accused of sexually exploiting children, giving them food or money for sex.
  • One in five children dies before their fifth birthday.
  • Child labour is likely to become an increasing problem as investors rush to exploit Congo's vast resources.

"I don't want to go back to the army. I would like to have some goats for stock breeding, but I can't go home: I'm sure the soldiers will come and take me again."

Izaak, 15


War Child in the Democratic Republic of Congo