Democratic Republic of the Congo reviewed at 6th session of UPR
Friday, 04 December 2009 17:30


On the morning of 3 December 2009, the Working Group on the UPR examined the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Congolese delegation was led by Mr Upio Kakura Wapol, Minister of Human Rights. The majority of States complimented the DRC for its commitment to human rights and notable legislative and institutional reforms, particularly in the difficult context of peace restoration. However, a significant number of States participating in the discussion expressed serious concern about the following issues:

  • Human rights defenders and journalists are victims of intimidation, harassment, arbitrary detention and death threats. Most States urged the DRC to establish a legal framework for the protection of human rights defenders and to create an environment conducive to freedom of expression.  
  • Sexual violence against women and children is still an alarming phenomenon in DRC. Moreover, victims are socially marginalised and have very limited access to medical and psychological assistance. The majority of States called for robust action to eradicate this practice and bring to justice perpetrators, including members of the armed forces.
  • Further efforts should be made to fight impunity and ensure the independence of the judiciary.
  • Although no death sentence has been carried out in the DRC in the past seven years, a number of States recommended that the State should convert the present moratorium on the death penalty into a definitive law, which would formally abolish this practice.
  • Stronger emphasis should be given to the integration and rehabilitation of former child soldiers into society and to the prevention of further recruitment. The phenomenon of violence against children accused of witchcraft was also of serious concern.  
  • Some States addressed the issue of the precarious detention conditions in the DRC and claimed that external observers are routinely denied access to prisons and detention centres.  
  • The DRC was urged to set-up a national independent human rights commission, in line with the Paris Principles. States also recommended the ratification of several instruments, including the second option protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the optional protocol to Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the optional protocol to the Convention against Torture, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The UPR Working Group will adopt the draft report of the review of the DRC on 7 December 2009.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 10:21
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