Chapter 14: Minors and miners: accountability beyond child soldiering in the Democratic Republic of Congo
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This chapter argues that efforts to prevent serious violations against children in armed conflict must directly target economic crimes, a key underlying driver of armed conflict. Through a case study of the use of child labour in gold mining in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the chapter reveals the active involvement of the Congolese army in economic crimes that contribute to the commission of such violations. This chapter juxtaposes this finding with recent action by the UN rewarding the DRC government for having lowered rates of child recruitment by the Congolese army. In conclusion, the chapter finds that the UN-led children and armed conflict agenda remains funnelled through a child soldier lens that must be expanded to include broader violations such as child labour in conflict-affected mining areas. The chapter concludes with policy recommendations to improve the coordination of reform efforts and anti-impunity initiatives at the national, regional and international level to effectively prevent violations that affect children in armed conflict.

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