As the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) approaches, it is important to be able to show the progress made in children’s rights and the key figures in the DRC
This article presents numerical evidence showing the trends in education and child protection. These key figures are taken from the three main surveys conducted in the country since 2007: DHS 2007, MICS 2010 and DHS 2013/2014.
An increase of more than 20% in primary school attendance
Regarding education, the DRC has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Consider two indicators pertaining to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2 and 3, on universal primary education and promoting gender equality and empowering women, respectively. These indicators – school attendance rates and the gender parity index at the primary and secondary levels – reveal a marked improvement.
80%of children between 6 and 11 are attending primary shcoolThe attendance rate in primary school has risen from 59% in 1990 to 80% in 2014. Today, 8 in 10 children aged 6 to 11 attend primary school in the DRC.
Primary schools are close to parity
The following chart shows the differences in primary school attendance between girls and boys.
23%of improvement for parityThe progress made in terms of the ratio between girls and boys in school is clear: parity has increased by 23% since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 1990, only 74 girls were enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys, whereas now, in 2014, 97 girls are pursuing their studies for every 100 of their male classmates.
Inequalities persist in education
The percentage of children enrolled in secondary school is significantly lower that at the primary level, regardless of the year.
The same is true for areas of residence: we can see that children living in urban areas are more fortunate than their peers living in rural areas.
The numbers do not make clear the reasons for this difference and more in-depth research is needed in support of education in the DRC.
A drop in the number of children registered in the civil status
For a long time, the registration of children in the civil status was not reported in the DRC. The most reliable survey data are from 2001 – 2007 and were completed by the MICS 2010 and DHS 2013/2014. The following chart shows the trend.
The rate has been decreasing since 2001. At that time, 34 in 100 children were registered in the civil status, compared with 25 in 100 children today. In other words, only one in four children are given their right to a name and identity as set out in Articles 7 and 8 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
When we look at the data from the perspective of area of residence, we can see a difference, albeit not as marked as for education, but nevertheless significant, regardless of the year. Currently, 30% of children under age 5 are registered in the civil status in urban areas, compared with 22% in rural areas (2014).
Key figures of registration of births in the Civil Status by province in the DRC, DHS 2013/2014
52%of children are registered in the civil status in BandunduDifferences can also be noted at the provincial level, as shown in this map. The provinces with the lowest rates of registration in the civil status, less than 10%, are in red: this is the case of Orientale Province and North Kivu. Bandundu Province has the best rate of registration in the civil status: 52%.
 Some of the data provided in the charts is taken from other sources. The data for 1990 are taken from the Report on the State of the World’s Children (SOWC) 1994-1998 by UNICEF. Data for other years are taken from the MICS 1995 and MICS 2001.
For more information: Key indicators by province and year
All datas come from the Demographic and Health Survey of 2013/2014 (in french only).
The Survey was conducted by the Ministry of Planning and Monitoring of the Revolution of Modernity along with the Ministry of Public Health with support from partners like UNICEF, USAID, PEPFAR, the British cooperation, the World Bank Banque Mondiale, the Global Fund, UNFPA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Flavien Mulumba est Officier de Monitoring et Evaluation pour le bureau de l'UNICEF à Kinshasa. Il croit fermement qu’investir dans les enfants en allouant plus de ressources pour favoriser leurs droits, c’est construire le monde de demain.
Flavien Mulumba has worked is a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the UNICEF office in Kinshasa. He believes firmly that investing in children's futures and allocating resources to protect their rights is creating a better world for tomorrow.
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