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.
Efe was abducted by armed forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo and taken to a camp where she was locked up with four other women.
When we arrived after our very long journey, four women were tasked to frisk us before we could enter into Madina Camp. After that, we were locked up for three days and ill-treated because they wanted to force us to be Muslims. We had no choice. I started learning the Koran and did a military training for two months.
Narrative provided by MONUSCO in their report ‘Invisible Survivors: Girls in Armed Groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2009 to 2015'