DR Congo

MONUC promotes the adoption of a law for the protection of the child in Congo

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Nina Yacoubian / MONUC

In advance of Universal Children's Day, celebrated on 20 November each year, at the MONUC weekly press conference of 19 November 2008, Congolese children transmitted their demands to members of Parliament of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

10 child representatives of Congolese children came to the MONUC press conference to give a declaration to Alan Doss, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, concerning the adoption of the law on the protection of the child in the DRC.

"For nearly 8 years, we await the promulgation of the law concerning the protection of the child in the Democratic Republic of Congo," reported a young girl in her address to the journalists present.

Worked out by the Congolese government, with the support of MONUC, UNICEF, the governmental organisations and the social actors and judiciary implicated in the protection of the child, this law should correct the gaps of the law of December 6, 1950 on "delinquent childhood."

"This law represents for us progress in the recognition of the rights of the child in our country," she added. The law is concerned with the introduction of special courts for children, the determination of the minimum threshold of criminal responsibility of the child, the creation of a special police force for children, the rehabilitation of the establishments of guardianship and re-education of the State (EGEE), the repression of the enlisting and the use of children in armed forces and groups, and special protection for street children.

"The children of Congo" also asked of both chambers of Parliament to harmonise their perspectives, and to adopt this law during the current parliamentary session, so that "the social and legal protection mechanisms both envisaged in this law can contribute to a better condition of the child in the DRC."

"We invite all the partners of the Congolese State and all the children to accompany us in this legitimate claim," concluded the young girl.

On this day which marks the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and of the Convention relative to the Rights of the Child, signed in 1989, a group of 60 children from Kinshasa are expected to visit several government institutions to present their claims.