Humanitarian Groups Demand Urgent Action to Halt Escalating Sexual Abuse of Girls and Women in Congo
June 17, 2003
Calling the situation in Congo one of the largest humanitarian tragedies in the world today, a network of leading human rights and aid agencies issued a report asking all parties to the war in Congo to immediately halt the sexual abuse of girls and women and uphold international treaties to protect children's rights. The report cites evidence of the spread of HIV/AIDS, children's forced participation in the illegal exploitation of natural resources, the recruitment and use of child soldiers and widespread violence against women and girls, including rape of young girls. A recent UNICEF report suggested that up to 20 percent of Congo's 51 million people may be infected with HIV. The report noted that "many infections occur as a result of rape and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls."
06.16.03; Edith M. Lederer
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.