Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Forest Hills Eastern High School
Human trafficking, a serious issue across the globe, as of 2016, took 40.3 million victims, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO). Of these, 24.9 million victims were in forced labor, while 15.4 million were in forced marriages. Perceived by the United Nations as modern-day slavery, human trafficking affects adults (75% of victims) as well as children (25% of victims), many being exploited sexually, or for labor, and even state-imposed labor. Twenty-three percent of the global population of human trafficking victims are in Africa. In Africa, not one country fully complies with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA), criteria for combating the issue. Many governments have taken measures to eliminate this in their nations, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s own.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has a tier 2 watch list rating on its efforts to comply with TVPA, meaning that its government may not fully meet the minimum standards, but is making efforts to meet them. The addition of “watch list” to the nation’s title, means that its number of victims is significant and growing, and that there is little to no evidence of the government’s efforts to meet TVPA standards. In 2017, 804 cases of sexual violence were confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; 507 of these victims were women, 265 were girls, 30 were men, and 2 were boys. Of these 804 cases, only 3 were resolved within the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s courts. A common form of trafficking in the nation is child labor in Rwandan-held mines. A report revealed in 2010 that 40% of the 742 workers in said mines were slaves. Though the Congolese government assisted in demobilizing child soldiers, minimal efforts were made to protect other types of trafficking victims, instead, protection is commonly provided by NGOs.
Seeing as the Congolese government struggles to take concrete action against the issue of human trafficking, the Democratic Republic of the Congo calls upon the United Nations and members of the SOCHUM committee to assist its government and the governments of countless other nations plagued by this crime. Funding should be provided to rescue and protect victims, to prosecute and punish traffickers, and to establish laws to prevent forced labor, forced marriages, and sexual exploitation.
- Carli Maltbie