Human rights situation and the activities of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/42/32)

Report
from UN Human Rights Council
Published on 14 Aug 2019 View Original

Human Rights Council
Forty-second session
9–27 September 2019
Agenda items 2 and 10
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General
Technical assistance and capacity-building

Summary

The present report contains an overview of the human rights situation and the activities of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from June 2018 to May 2019. The report assesses the progress made by the Government in implementing recommendations previously made by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other United Nations human rights mechanisms.

Many violations and abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms were committed during the electoral process. The opening up of democratic space observed following the elections, including the release of several political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, is encouraging, but further efforts are needed to ensure the full exercise of fundamental freedoms. The High Commissioner finds it regrettable that, even though the two joint commissions set up to investigate the violations committed during protests that took place between 2016 and 2018 published reports in June 2018, no judicial action has been taken with regard to the violations documented.

The High Commissioner remains concerned about the situation in conflict-affected areas, where the defence and security forces and armed groups have continued to commit a large number of human rights violations and abuses, including sexual violence. The upsurge in intercommunal conflict and violence against certain ethnic groups is also worrying.

The High Commissioner commends the authorities’ efforts to combat impunity and notes the convictions served against senior military officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The High Commissioner encourages the Government to implement all the recommendations made in the present report and reaffirms her Office’s commitment to supporting the authorities in their efforts to promote and protect human rights.

I. Introduction

  1. In accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 39/20 on technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the present report provides an overview of the human rights situation and the activities conducted in the country by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights through the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office between June 2018 and May 2019.

  2. The present report highlights the key human rights developments, including in the context of the elections, assesses the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Nations mechanisms for the protection of human rights, and submits recommendations for the attention of the Government.