Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)



The Case Mapping, Selection and Prioritisation Toolkit for the DRC will be implemented between 2014 and 2016. It will be freely available to users in French and English.

The contemporary armed conflict in the DRC is characterised by an overwhelming number of sex crimes, many more than the national criminal justice system can process – there were 15,654 reported incidents in 2012, an increase of 52% compared to 2011.[1] However, there is no consistent policy on prioritisation of sex crimes in the DRC, owing primarily to limited resources, skills and expertise. The Case Mapping, Selection and Prioritisation Toolkit for the DRC will provide a tool to map and manage sex crimes cases from the registration of complaints through to sentencing and appeal and a series of publications to make available succinct yet accurate information on the methods and criteria to select and prioritise these cases.

The country activities are based on extensive consultations between the ICJ Toolkits Project team and national criminal justice actors from government, international organisations and civil society organisations who are based in Kinshasa, Eastern DRC and internationally.

The Case Mapping, Selection and Prioritisation Toolkit for the DRC will be designed for use by judges, prosecutors, lawyers, legal educators and civil society organisations in order to integrate the selection and prioritisation mechanisms identified with national practice in a way that is appropriate to the post-conflict realities of the DRC criminal justice system.

Database: Adaptation of DOCF (Database on Open Case Files)

DOCF is a tool that facilitates the mapping of open case files involving core international crimes, to make better informed decisions on selection and prioritisation of cases. Following extensive consultations with local actors, the software – a prototype of which is already in use in North Kivu province – will be updated according to the needs of the beneficiaries trained to use DOCF.

Publication: Prioritising international sex crimes cases in the DRC

A document analysing prioritisation policies for sex crimes will be produced for use by judges, prosecutors and other legal actors within the Congolese legal system. This multi-contributor publication intends to support the justice system in the DRC to investigate and prosecute core international crimes by providing policies and tools for prioritising and selecting cases.

Publication: Summarised key findings from landmark sex crimes cases before international criminal tribunals

This publication will summarise the key findings of landmark sex crimes cases from international criminal tribunals. A short methodological introduction will explain how the selected cases developed the jurisprudence on international sex crimes. Together, the summarised findings aim to strengthen the capacity of national courts in the DRC to adjudicate sexual crimes cases in light of international best practice guidelines, and will be  readily available for use and citation in proceedings before national courts.

Publication: Flash cards on sex crimes, defining key terms and policies for selecting and prioritising cases

The flash cards will provide concise definitions of the key terms involved in sex crimes cases for application by judges, prosecutors and defence counsel during criminal trials. The definitions will be taken from international case law. The flash cards will also include summarised guidelines and readily applicable criteria for the prioritisation of sex crimes case files at the national level, based on the conclusions of the multi-contributor publication. The flash cards are intended to serve as accessible, useful resources to legal actors working on sex crimes cases at the national level in the DRC.

All publications will be made available in both English and French.

Services: Capacity Development Events

Two events will be held (1) in Kinshasa and (2) in Eastern DRC in order to demonstrate:

  • Improvements made to the DOCF software;
  • Report on the prioritisation of sex crimes cases in the DRC;
  • Summarised key findings from international sex crimes cases; and
  • Flash cards, defining key terms and prioritisation policies.

[1] See République Démocratique du Congo, Ministère du Genre, de la Famille et de l’Enfant, ‘Ampleur des violences sexuelles en RDC et actions de lutte contre le phénomène de 2011 à 2012’ (Kinshasa, June 2013), p. 1. These figures are based on data on sexual and gender-based violence reported in 2011 and 2012 by actors working in the provinces of Bandundu, Bas Congo, Katanga, Kinshasa, North Kivu, Province Orientale and South Kivu.