Artisanal mining, conflict, and sexual violence in Eastern DRC

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Rustad, Siri Aas; Gudrun Østby & Ragnhild Nordås (2016) Artisanal mining, conflict, and sexual violence in Eastern DRC, The Extractive Industries and Society 3(2): 475–484.

​​The natural resource abundance of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has featured in policy debates as the prime example of ‘conflict minerals’ driving conflict-related sexual violence. This narrative has dominated how the conflict in the eastern part of the country has been portrayed in the media and by high-level policy-makers. Despite increased attention to research on mining and gender, systematic analyses of the links between mining, conflict, and sexual violence are scarce. This paper contributes to filling this gap by exploring how artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) and sexual violence are related in Eastern DRC. We combine new subnational data on the geographical location of ASM sites with detailed survey data from the 2013/2014 Demographic and Health survey of women aged 15–49 on their exposure to sexual violence committed by their intimate partners and by others (non-partners). The results indicate that women living in close proximity to ASM are indeed more likely to experience sexual violence of both types, although the effect is stronger for non-partner sexual violence. In the Kivus and Maniema, the risk of experiencing non-partner sexual is particularly high for women that live close to a mine with the presence of an armed actor.

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Authors

Gudrun Østby

Gudrun Østby

Senior Researcher

Ragnhild Nordås

Ragnhild Nordås

Research Director, Conditions of Violence and Peace Department; Senior Researcher & Deputy Editor, Journal of Peace Research

Siri Aas Rustad

Siri Aas Rustad

Senior Researcher