There are an estimated 1,045,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the Democratic Republic of Congo (GSI 2018). In 2016 several armed groups continued to abduct and forcibly recruit men, women and children as combatants and in support roles such as guards, cleaners, cooks and spies. In 2016, 184 cases of child soldiers were reported, with 1,662 children reported to have separated or escaped from armed groups. Child soldiers who manage to escape remain vulnerable to re-recruitment as adequate rehabilitation services remain unavailable to children suffering trauma, stigmatisation and the continued threat of armed groups.
Eunice was aducted by Mayi Mayi elements in June 2012 when they entered her house in Epulu Village, Oritenal province. She was able to escape during a class with the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and walk back to her village.
I was sleeping at home when five men armed with guns, machetes and knives entered the house in the middle of the night. They forced me, six other girls and 38 women to carry sacks of merchandise they had stolen. We walked through the forest for five days and [B] forced me to have sex with him many times. When we were in the camp I was forced to work in the home of [B.]. I prepared food, cleaned and washed clothes. One day his wife stabbed me in the leg with a knife.
Narrative provided by MONUSCO in their report ‘Invisible Survivors: Girls in Armed Groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2009 to 2015’