Established: In 2013, the Embassy of Switzerland in DR Congo started convening VP members active in the country. As the center of political power and decision-making, Kinshasa is significant for gathering leadership and promoting the voluntary principles in DRC. The working group has initially acted as an informal group for donors and international NGOs to exchange information on their priorities and field projects. Government and industry presence were at first discrete. But recently, representatives from provincial Working Groups and the Ministries of Human Rights and Mines have started participating, bringing a new dynamic supported by DCAF through the SHRIM.
Membership: The group counts on approx. 20 participants representing the Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Mines, embassies of VP government members (CAN, CH, NETH, NOR, UK, US), international NGOs (DCAF, IA, ICRC, SFCG), international mining industry (Glencore, TFM), representatives of provincial VP working groups (South-Kivu, ex-Katanga).
Activities: The group focuses on dialogue and awareness-raising of the Voluntary Principles at the national level. It supports current efforts by the government to establish a national VP strategy and looks for synergies with established structures and good practices for the implementation process.
Established : In 2006, Lubumbashi-based human rights organization Justicia Asbl started working to establish a dialogue between stakeholders to ensure that those impacted by adverse business practices can exchange and resolve these incidents. In 2017, a workshop was organized in Lubumbashi and identified the need for a fully-fledged VP Working Group covering security and human rights challenges in the industrial mining area around Lubumbashi. With the support of DCAF, Justicia Asbl was established as the secretariat of the group, which now counts on ample multistakeholder representation.
Membership: Provincial authorities, representatives from tribunals, international and national mining industry, private security companies, local and international civil society organisations, representatives from public security forces.
Activities: The working group works on joint prevention of security and human rights incidents in the industrial mining context of Haut-Katanga.
Established: In 2018, Observatoire Gouvernance et Paix (OGP) founded the group in Bukavu as a subsection of a technical OECD working group, to specifically address security incidents. With support of the SHRIM, the Working Group gathered stakeholders and quickly decided it was necessary to carry out field missions, sometimes in remote and difficult-to-access districts of South Kivu, and follow up on recommendations. Thanks to this approach, the working group has contributed to the de-escalation of conflicts around mining sites, raised the awareness of the Congolese army (FARDC) around good security practices consistent with national and international law. The work of the Group has been officially recognized by the Ministry of Mines, who has anchored the South Kivu Group in its own structure through the Comité Provincial de Suivi.
Membership: Public security forces, artisanal mining cooperatives, international mining industry, local civil society organisations, community representatives, public authorities
Activities : The Working Group aims to build trust and increase collaboration in a multistakeholder setting. It exchanges information and develops joint responses to security issues in the artisanal mining context of South Kivu province, offering lessons learnt and good practices. The group specifically monitors the capacity of the Mining Police to respond to security and human rights issues in line with their curriculum.
Impact and success stories:
Established in: July 2020 by Justicia Asbl. This second working group in the large-scale mining region will be based in Kolwezi.
Membership: The Working Group is in a phase of setting up and gathering stakeholders.
Activities : With the support of DCAF, Justicia are currently conducting a stakeholder mapping and a baseline study on specific security and human rights challenges in the Kolwezi area.
For information on the DRC'S engagement, visit the following membership pages: