Title page for ETD etd-12012012-170453

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Mundela, Grace Bilonda
Email gracemundela@yahoo.fr
URN etd-12012012-170453
Document Title The responsibility of the state on the violation of the rights of the child during the post-armed conflict : the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Degree LLM
Department Centre for Human Rights
Advisor Name Title
Prof M Hansungule Supervisor
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
  • jurisdiction
  • United Nations General Assembly
  • violation of rights of children
Date 2012-09-07
Availability unrestricted
The United Nations General Assembly adopted on the 20PthP of November 1989 the Convention on the Rights of the Child responding to the atrocities committed against the child, the deaths of children from armed conflict, and children suffering from diseases and hunger. Moreover, the UNGA adopted on May 25PthP, 2000 two Optional Protocols to the CRC relating to the involvement of children in armed conflict and to the sale of children, the use of the child for pornography and prostitution.

The CRC, almost ratified by all states, contains a comprehensive list of Human Rights relating to children which should be respected, promoted, protected and fulfilled. The CRC guarantees children’s individual human rights strengthening the role of parents. The UNCRC defines in article 1 that a child is every human being below the age of 18 unless, in a particular state, the age of majority is achieved earlier and emphasizes on four general principles the best interest of the child, non-discrimination, the rights to life, survival and development and the right to participate.

Furthermore, especially for children in armed conflict, the CRC sets up measures which all states parties must implement in order to protect them and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) also sets up some measures to protect them in armed conflict according to International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law.

Nevertheless, during armed conflict, it is almost impossible to respect all obligations set in IHL and IHRL. During the last twelve years, the Democratic Republic of Congo was a battlefield in which it has been estimated that 2 million children have been killed, more than 6 million have been injured during this armed conflict. For instance, they have suffered sexual violence, grave psychological trauma, malnutrition and diseases. All the six grave violations against children set by the UN Security Council in its resolution 1612 (killing or maiming of children, recruitment or use of child soldiers, rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, abduction of children, attacks against schools or hospitals, denial of humanitarian access to children) were committed during this period in the DRC.

Therefore, the DRC is responsible for the violation of children’s rights set in the various legal instruments protecting children in period of armed conflict. Despite the responsibility of the state, armed groups or individuals are also recognized as criminally responsible of the violation of the rights of children within the Congolese jurisdiction only if the material elements are committed intentionally and with knowledge, according to article 30 of the International Criminal Court.

However, the reparation of these violations may foresee restitution, compensation for damage suffered in the past, assurance against future breach of international obligations and an approach that of remedial justice and prevention because children represent our societies and their protection represents a right and a human security issue.

© 2012 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Mundela, GB 2012, The responsibility of the state on the violation of the rights of the child during the post-armed conflict : the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo , LLM dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-12012012-170453/ >


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