Recent Legislative Advancements to Combat Gender-Based Violence

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Despite the alarming increase in cases of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), there has been no specific law to combat this issue in the country. This has resulted in countless women and girls becoming victims of SGBV within their households and communities, with many cases going unpunished due to the absence of legal measures.

Recognizing this legal gap, JHR has collaborated with civil society organizations to initiate a bill focused on preventing and repressing gender-based violence in the DRC. Since November 2021, JHR has been actively supporting various activities related to this cause. These include workshops aimed at drafting and amending the content of the bill against SGBV, as well as round table discussions advocating for government ownership of this important initiative.

On August 2, 2022, a workshop was organized by the Presidency of the DRC to validate the draft law on the repression of SGBV. JHR played a significant role as a stakeholder during this event. Subsequently, the draft law was sent to the government, which adopted it in the Council of Ministers before forwarding it to Parliament.

Recently, Rose Mutombo, the Minister of Justice for the DRC, defended the bill at a plenary session of the National Assembly on Friday, July 14. The law received majority approval from deputies and has now been sent to the Senate for a second reading before being promulgated by the President of the Republic.

As a reminder, JHR and its local partners are simultaneously working on two legislative initiatives that aim to revolutionize the DRC’s legal framework for better protection and guaranteeing rights for women and girls. These initiatives include a law exempting survivors of sexual violence in the DRC from legal fees and the bill on the prevention and repression of SGBV. We are delighted to announce that both initiatives have been adopted by the National Assembly and are now awaiting a second reading in the Senate before being promulgated by the Head of State.

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