Does Artisanal Mining Increase the Risk of Sexual Violence?

Siri Aas Rustad

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DR Congo’s natural resource abundance has featured in policy debates and amongst advocacy groups as the prime example of ‘conflict minerals’ driving conflict-related sexual violence. Yet, systematic analyses of the links between mining, conflict, and sexual violence are scarce. This article explores this link combining new subnational data on the geographical location of ASM sites with detailed micro-level data on exposure to sexual violence from the 2013/2014 Demographic and Health Survey in DRC. We find that women living close to ASM sites are indeed more likely to experience sexual violence. In the Kivus and Maniema, the risk of experiencing sexual violence is particularly high for women that live close to a mine with the presence of one or more armed actors.

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