Democratic Republic of the Congo
Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Law on Child Protection (2009) states: “The State ensures the … education … for children affected by armed conflict, tensions or civil troubles, especially those who are found and not identified in relation to their family environment.”
The Law also states: “For the purpose of the present law, it is understood as: 1. child: every person under the age of 18”.
In 2008, in its written replies to the issues raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child with regard to its second periodic report, the Democratic Republic of the Congo stated:
Providing the necessary assistance for the physical and psychological rehabilitation as well as social reintegration of children who have left the armed forces or armed groups has been part of the DDR [disarmament, demobilization and reintegration] programme since its inception in 2001. Generally speaking, the process of psychological counselling and assistance in family and community reintegration is as follows:
(b) … Counselling sessions are held with them throughout their stay at the centre. Their educational level is assessed, and children found to have very weak skills take remedial classes in reading and writing and in basic education (rules of good behaviour and manners) …
Reintegration is undertaken on the basis of the educational projects of the “peace villages” in the form of occupational or educational guidance. The following occupations are the most common:
- Bakery and confectionery trade
- Sewing and dressmaking
- Bicycle and motorcycle repairs
- Automobile mechanics
- Fishing, agriculture and animal husbandry
- Masonry and bricklaying.