Democratic Republic of Congo

Priority Issues

  • Rule of law
  • Resource rights
  • Violence against women
  • Children’s rights
  • LGBTI rights

Began Program: 2005

Throughout seventeen years of nearly uninterrupted conflict in eastern Congo, the military and armed groups have trampled on the rights and destroyed the communities of countless civilians. Over five million have died. Millions more have been displaced. Rape is used as a weapon of war, children are recruited as soldiers, and civilians are regularly targeted.

When we started our work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2005, the government had recently negotiated a peace agreement to end much of the fighting and elections had been scheduled. Today, war and impunity still plague eastern Congo, and the intensity of the conflict has ebbed and flowed. Grantees have nonetheless scored impressive victories—such as removing thousands of children from forced service with armed groups, building cases against those accused of war crimes, and securing passage of anti-torture legislation— laying the groundwork for a rights-respecting society.

“By supporting the Fund, one helps this mad world to be more humane.”
Arnold Djuma, Coalition of Volunteers for Peace and Development, DRC

Our Strategy

Human rights work in the Congo remains dangerous and challenging. Still, the Fund is committed to supporting courageous activists seeking to stop the cycle of violence by holding those responsible accountable. The organizing principles of our work in the Congo are ending impunity and ensuring that attention is given to the most marginalized, who are too often left behind in conflict situations. Through these lenses, we support organizations fighting discrimination and violence against women in remote and rural areas, exposing abusive practices in resource extraction, preventing the forced recruitment of child soldiers, and protecting the rights of LGBTI people. We also have invested in the security of our grantees; enabling them to implement emergency measures, protect their physical security, and conduct long-term planning for the safety of activists.