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Pilot Trainings Address the Role of Police in Preventing the Worst Forms of Child Labour

From 18 to 30 October 2021, DCAF held a first pilot police training-of-trainers focusing on the role of two Congolese police units in protecting children from the worst forms of child labour on mining sites. The training was delivered at the Jules Moke Police School in Bukavu, the provincial capital of South Kivu, to twelve officers from the Mining Police and Child Protection Squads.

Police officers learned about international and national norms, how to better fulfil their roles and responsibilities, and how to protect children more effectively through dialogue, cooperation and sensitization. After learning the course, the new trainers then in turn instructed officers coming directly from the field along with civilian participants from the government, cooperatives and civil society.

This project was commissioned by the Thomson Reuters Foundation as part of a multi-year Partnership Against Child Exploitation (PACE) consortium project funded by UK Aid. It is implemented by DCAF, Observatoire Gouvernance et Paix (OGP), Safestainable and Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) in coordination with the national directorate of trainings in Kinshasa.

These trainings have highlighted the importance of promoting police-civilian collaboration, ranging from civil society and community representatives as well as the economic operators of mine sites. A second direct training will take place in Bukavu by the end of the year or early next year.

Previously in August 2021, a preparatory meeting gathered key South Kivu stakeholders active in child protection: police representatives, the ministry of mines, ministry of social affairs, ministry of gender, family and children, technical partners, community actors and more. These stakeholders will be reinvited to a roundtable at the end of 2021 that will capitalize on the pilot training, and serve to produce policy action points and ideas for monitoring. A pocket guide in French and Swahili will also be produced in collaboration with the directorate of trainings and distributed to units responsible for tackling child labour on mine sites.


Who are the public security actors protecting children in DRC ?

  • The Child Protection Squads (EPEPVS) are a police unit specialized in the protection of children. Established at the national level, it was initially established and piloted in South Kivu in 2003, even before the 2009 Child  Protection Act was signed into law.
  • The Mining Police (PMH) are the primary security actors on mining sites. They enforce the mining code and, as such, have a duty to remove children from mining sites and return them to safety.