Angolan security forces have been implicated in serious abuses against migrant women from the Democratic Republic of Congo. A United Nations investigation has confirmed the abuses, but Angolan authorities have denied the allegations. Human Rights Watch documented gang rape and sexual exploitation of women and girls during roundups of undocumented migrants and while they were in custody before deportation.
In 2018, Human Rights Watch called on the Angolan government to suspend the abusive deportation of Congolese migrants and conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into alleged abuses by state security forces. The seriousness of these new reports of sexual violence requires much more than a simple denial from the Angolan government. Under the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol), which Angola ratified in 2007, the government has obligations to prevent, investigate, prosecute, and punish those responsible for abuses as well as provide timely, accessible, and effective remedies to victims and survivors.