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2015 (Narrative date)

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 seperated or escaped from armed groups. Child soldiers who manage to escape remain vulnerable to re-recruitment as adeqaute rehabilitation services remain unavailable to children suffering trauma, stigmatisation and the continued threat of armed groups.  

Claudia joined the armed group Nyatura in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She tells of her ordeal.

I tried to escape with two boys in February 2013. We were caught by Major [B.] and taken back to the camp. We were each beaten with a stick 30 times and we were locked in a cell under the ground. We escaped the day after and managed to reach MONUSCO.

Narrative provided by MONUSCO in their report ‘Invisible Survivors: Girls in Armed Groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2009 to 2015