Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Congo, Democratic Republic of the (DRC)

Cobalt Ore (Heterogenite)
Cobalt Ore (Heterogenite)
Child Labor Icon
Copper
Copper
Child Labor Icon
Diamonds
Diamonds
Child Labor Icon
Gold
Gold
Child Labor Icon
Forced Child Labor Icon
Forced Labor Icon
Tantalum Ore (Coltan)
Tantalum Ore (Coltan)
Child Labor Icon
Forced Child Labor Icon
Forced Labor Icon
Tin Ore (Cassiterite)
Tin Ore (Cassiterite)
Child Labor Icon
Forced Child Labor Icon
Forced Labor Icon
Tungsten Ore (Wolframite)
Tungsten Ore (Wolframite)
Child Labor Icon
Forced Child Labor Icon
Forced Labor Icon
Congo, Democratic Republic of the (DRC)
2019 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

No Advancement – Efforts Made But Complicit in Forced Child Labor

In 2019, the Democratic Republic of the Congo made no advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government drafted a new anti-trafficking in persons law, established a national anti-trafficking coordinating body, and finalized a five-year national strategy to combat human trafficking. A military court also sentenced a former colonel to life imprisonment for the unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers. Moreover, the government implemented a new universal primary education decree, expanding funding for public schools and significantly reducing the number of children vulnerable to labor exploitation. However, despite new initiatives to address child labor, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is receiving an assessment of no advancement because of the national army's complicity in the worst forms of child labor. During the year, an Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) regiment supplied weapons and munitions to and allowed the free movement of a proxy non-state armed group known for recruiting children, enabling the armed group to expand its control over mineral-rich sites in the east. In addition, a FARDC regiment in Tshikapa forcibly abducted young girls into sexual slavery. The FARDC also illegally detained children for their alleged association with armed groups and failed to hold some of its units accountable for perpetrating the worst forms of child labor. Moreover, regiment commanders and their superiors actively interfered with investigations into forced child recruitment and the sexual exploitation of children allegedly perpetrated by their forces. Children engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in the forced mining of gold, tin ore (cassiterite), tantalum ore (coltan), and tungsten ore (wolframite), and are used in armed conflict, sometimes as a result of forcible recruitment or abduction by non-state armed groups. Other gaps remain, including a lack of trained enforcement personnel, limited financial resources, and poor coordination of government efforts to combat child labor. Research also indicates that labor inspectors failed to conduct any worksite inspections for the fourth year in a row. Labor inspections are a key tool for identifying child labor violations, and their absence makes children more vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor.

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