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Girl Soldiers Forced Into Prostitution

Many girl soldiers became prostitutes after leaving the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), a witness told victims’ lawyers today.

The girls, he said, had been raped by commanders and some had left the militia after becoming pregnant. In many instances, they also tested positive for sexually transmitted infections.

“The shame that came with all of that [and] the rejection by the community… tended to remind the girl of the situation she had gone through,” said the witness, who worked in a demobilization center for former child soldiers in The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Very few girls were accepted back into their communities, he said, and without any financial means, they had few options. “Most of the girls ended up being prostitutes,” the witness said.

Proceedings on Thursday were conducted mainly in closed session.