Association in DRC

Registering a civil society organisation in the DRC is an extremely bureaucratic process. Organisations must seek approval from both the relevant sectoral ministry and the Ministry of Justice. CSOs are then required to work according to the government’s various development policies. Although most civil society organisations in the DRC focus on local or public service delivery issues, those promoting human rights and democracy are subject to close monitoring and sometimes harassment. Foreign CSOs face even higher bureaucratic hurdles and are required to sign specific agreements with government ministries before starting work. Faced with such a strict regulatory environment for civil society, newly-formed social movements such as Lucha, Telema and Ingeta have emerged, taking a less formalised approach to organising and campaigning for social change in the DRC. The state has responded to the popularity of these new movements with force and through the arrest and imprisonment of some of their leaders.