There are an estimated 1,045,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the Democratic Republic of Congo (GSI 2018). In 2017, several armed groups abducted and forcibly recruited Congolese men, women, and children as combatants and in support roles, such as guards, porters, cleaners, cooks, messengers, spies, and tax collectors at mining sites; women and girls were forced to marry or serve as sex slaves for members of some armed groups. Some Congolese women and girls subjected to forced marriage are highly vulnerable to domestic servitude or sex trafficking. Congolese women and children migrate to other countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, where some are exploited in sex trafficking, domestic servitude, or forced labor in agriculture and diamond mines.
Olive was married at 13-years-old. Now, at 17, she has two children.
I’m 17 years old and already a mother of two children. I was married when I was 13. My parents insisted that a girl has to marry before the age of 15. I didn’t know this would cause so many problems for me and my future.
Thanks to Radio Ondese FM’s programmes and awareness workshops, I have joined one of its listening clubs.
Now I can share my experience with our girls and help them by warning them about the difficulties of being married before 18.
Narrative provided by Girls Not Brides.