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Program Updates
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Program Team
Meet our in-country Democratic Republic of Congo staff & our Africa staff in Washington
IHRLG IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
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Periodically having to suspend operations on the ground due to escalations of conflict, IHRLG has worked side by side with Congolese human rights and civil society leaders since 1995 as they have struggled to report massive human rights violations in a context of impunity and promote the country's achievement of peace and transition to democracy.

Years of war in the DRC, at times involving eight African countries and several rebel factions, have resulted in one of the most catastrophic humanitarian and human rights situations in Africa. Over 2 million Congolese people are internally displaced and hundreds of thousands are refugees in neighboring countries. All sides to the conflict have subjected the civilian population to severe violations, including massacres, torture, looting, rape and other sexual violence, and forced displacement —in a context where no mechanisms of law enforcement or justice exist to provide protection or redress to victims.

A slow-moving peace process began with the signing of the Lusaka Peace Accord in 1999. Its provisions for an Inter-Congolese Dialogue, between the political opposition, armed opposition, civil society and the Congolese government, evoked hope among the civilian population and the international community for reconciliation and the defining of a new political framework for the country. As political negotiations develop, IHRLG staff in Kinshasa and Bukavu ensure civil society involvement through training and partnering with human rights leaders and legal professionals in government-controlled and rebel-held areas as they examine key challenges to transitional justice and areas requiring institutional and legal reform (including a draft constitution, bill of rights and a nationality law), address specific violations (including violence against women, arbitrary arrest and illegal detention), press for greater access to justice, and advocate for the application of ratified international human rights treaties.

Click on the links below to learn more about IHRLG activities in the DRC

more arrow Training and partnering with NGOs to build an effective and viable human rights movement

more arrow Mobilizing communities to seek better access to justice

more arrow Promoting access to justice by strengthening legal service providers

more arrow Reinforcing civil society participation in Congo's peace process and transition to democracy

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Related Material
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arrow IHRLG testimony before the Human Rights Subcommittee on the U.S. Department of State 2001 report on human rights practices in Congo (PDF)
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To view the PDF documents, click here and download Adobe Acrobat Reader!
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