Estimating human rights violations in South Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo: A population-based survey

Stephanie Alfaro, Kathleen Myer, Ihotu Ali, Les Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


UN Resolution 1612 requires that annual tends in the rate of grave violations of children's rights be reported to the Security Council for countries of interest such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. We conducted a population-based three-staged cluster survey from May to August 2010 to measure the occurrence of military recruitment, abduction, killing and maiming, and attacks against education occurring in the population in South Kivu during 2010. In addition, key informants were interviewed with a semi-structured questionnaire to examine their ability to report any of the grave violations perpetrated in their village. The findings indicated that among the 4471 members of respondent households, abduction was the most frequently reported violation and it is estimated that 5.7% of the population (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.9-7.5, design effect [DE]: 4.06) were abducted annually. It is estimated that 44,898 children (1.5%) (95% CI: 23,679-66,118, DE: 2.90) throughout South Kivu Province (excluding the cities of Bukavu and Uvira) experienced one of the four grave violations (recruitment, abduction, killing or maiming, and attacks against education) in the first 6.5 months of 2010. The majority of all violation episodes were perpetrated by government Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo soldiers. In the majority of villages where at least one household reported a member experiencing a violation, the key informants reported that no violations had occurred in their village. This survey suggests the UN's Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism was less than 1% complete in South Kivu. These results beckon population-based non-UN, nongovernmental rights monitoring systems be developed to complement the UN effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
JournalVulnerable Children and Youth Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • conflict-affected countries
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • human rights
  • population-based surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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