Tens of thousands of children have been involved in armed conflict in the eastern Congo since 1998. According to Child Soldier, approximately one in ten child soldiers – 30,000 children – can be found in DRC.
Continuing conflict in the east causes the displacement of families, which makes children even more vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups.
Widespread poverty and the lack of resources for education and training make it difficult for former child soldiers, orphans, and street children to access education and have a normal life.
The ongoing humanitarian crisis has lowered school enrolment rates across the country, and resources for books, teaching materials, and teachers’ salaries are scarce.
Demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration programs attempt to bring children back into their communities, homes and families, but limited resources make it difficult for these children to access education, training, food and shelter.
Human Rights Watch
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Eastern Congo Initiative