Human Rights Council - 25th Regular Session
Australian statement on Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
25 March 2014
Australia welcomes this opportunity for the international community to again focus on the issue of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to interact with representatives of the Government of the DRC. The horrific instances of sexual violence in the DRC have been documented both by the United Nations and the Government of the DRC. Australia remains alarmed by the scale of sexual and gender based violence committed by foreign and Congolese armed groups, the defence and security forces, and civilians.
Australia welcomes the improvements in security in the DRC under the Framework for Peace, Security and Cooperation. The role of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission (MONUSCO) is vital in protecting civilians and creating space for reform processes to be implemented. We welcome all efforts of MONUSCO and the Government of the DRC to improve screening of FARDC troops and in dealing with instances of poor discipline, including sexual violence.
The Government of the DRC is ultimately responsible for addressing impunity in relation to sexual crimes. Australia would like to ask the Honourable Ministers for their observations on what more can be done to break down the culture of violence against women and girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.