DRC sexual violence: UN, at last, recognizes the magnitude of crimes

A high-level dialogue on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a new mechanism adopted through a vote of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
FIDH mobilises the diplomatic community and all the African countries in the sub-region to develop a dialogue that will enable the victims to make their voice heard.

On 27 September 2013, as a conclusion to its 24th session, the U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to create a high-level Dialogue on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Dialogue will meet during the 25th session, in March 2014. This is the first time that the Council is creating a theme- and country-specific mechanism of this kind. This high-level dialogue will provide an opportunity to define lessons learned and outstanding challenges in the fight against sexual violence in DRC and may take a decision on the most appropriate way to monitor the subject.

The adoption of this resolution was the outcome of very intensive lobbying and advocacy efforts by FIDH, such as the organisation of a high-level panel discussion alongside the 23rd session of the Council in May 2013, with the participation of Mrs. Valérie Trierweiler, Ambassador of France Libertés. The purpose was to inform the diplomatic community about the issue. All the African countries in the sub-region and with DRC partners, encouraged by FIDH, worked to position this high-level dialogue within the Council.

By adopting this important resolution at its 24th session, the Council showed that it recognized the seriousness of the situation of human rights, in particular in the eastern part of the DRC where sexual and gender-based violence is used as a systematic, large-scale war weapon.

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