Adopting an Anti-human Trafficking Law in the DR Congo: A Significant Step in the Process of Combating Trafficking

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AUTHOR:

Roger-Claude Liwanga, JD
Harvard Fellow, Visiting Scholar with Boston University’s African Studies Center, Founder of Promote Congo

ABSTRACT:

This paper highlights the necessity of adopting a comprehensive anti-human trafficking law in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC ratified a number of international instruments prohibiting human trafficking, such as the Palermo Protocol, which recommend it to take legislative measures against human trafficking domestically. But so far, the DRC has not yet adopted a comprehensive anti-human trafficking law. With the increasing prevalence of human trafficking, the existing fragmented provisions on trafficking in the DRC (catalogued within the Law 06/018 amending the Penal Code, the Labor Code and the Law 09/001 on the Protection of the Child) are not sufficient to address the scourge, given the limited scope of their regulation of human trafficking. Countless victims of trafficking, particularly adults who are subjected to bonded labor, are unprotected by the law. Following the example of comprehensive anti-human trafficking legislations in the United States, Italy, Burkina Faso, Kenya or South Africa, the DRC should also adopt its own version of comprehensive anti-human trafficking law to increase its likelihood of effectively protecting trafficking victims, investigating trafficking offences, prosecuting trafficking offenders, and deterring potential traffickers. This paper recommends a sketch of a holistic anti-human trafficking law which is adapted to the DRC’s context.