Congo: Addressing Grievous Human Rights Abuses

A new report documenting ‘forced eviction of entire communities’ and grievous human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) calls for urgent action.

Development Diaries reports that Amnesty International and Initiative pour la Bonne Gouvernance et les Droits Humains (IBGDH) detailed how the scramble by multinational companies to expand mining operations has resulted in communities being forced from their homes and farmland.

In the report, titled Powering Change or Business as Usual?, the organisations said they interviewed more than 130 people at six different mining projects in and around the city of Kolwezi, in the southern province of Lualaba, during two separate visits in 2022.

The DRC produces more than 70 percent of the world’s cobalt, with artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) accounting for 15 to 30 percent of that production, according to a 2020 report by Council on Foreign Relations.

Also, human rights organisations have long kept track of serious violations of human rights in mining activities in DRC.

It is understood that companies looking to expand large-scale copper and cobalt mining projects are the ones behind the forcible evictions.

Development Diaries calls on the DRC authorities to look into issues of breaches of legal safeguards prescribed in international human rights law and standards, and provide remedies where abuses have been recorded.

Furthermore, in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the government and mining companies must meet their responsibilities to prevent human rights abuses in company operations.

Photo source: Lusaka Times


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