Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations


Congo, Sexual, Violence


"This thesis explores the issue of Sexual Gender-Based Violence in the Democratic of Congo, focusing specifically on the Eastern region of the country. An analysis of the United Nations peacekeeping operation forms a large part the study because the operation remains the most significant multilateral attempt to protect Congolese civilians from sexual violence and other human rights abuses. The objective of the thesis is to highlight the issue of Sexual Gender-Based Violence, describe the background to the continued violence in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and offer an explanation of the causal factors behind the sexual crimes being perpetrated. By also focusing on the efforts of the peacekeeping operation this work will attempt to identify any obstacles to protecting civilians, and how these might be overcome. The method of research is based on analysis of secondary sources, including official United Nations report, journal articles, reports of non-governmental organizations, and media coverage of the region. This research is supplemented by primary source interviews with individuals working on, or with direct knowledge of, the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The research has unveiled the deep complexity of the conflict occurring in the East and shows that a combination of factors, that include poverty and lack of development, are creating an environment conducive to unlawful and destructive behavior. Equally complex is the task of finding a solution. However, one realization is clear, the region, and the wider country, need several issues to be addressed simultaneously. Developing the country's infrastructure and boosting its economy should be significant priorities. Alongside this is a reform of the security sector, which will not only safeguard the rule of law, but also ensure the future safety of civilians. "



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.