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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 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.

Medi was abducted by the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) in 2010.

They killed my parents because they were trying to get help when they kidnapped us. With my sister and two brothers we were forced to carry heavy loads, walking every day. I was able to escape after a week when the FARDC attacked us.

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