29 September 2020
DR Congo –Revised Mining Code, local governance, and COVID-19:
Between aspirations and reality
During a webinar organised by 5 European civil society organisations in parallel with the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC45), representatives of organisations from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) questioned the effectiveness of the implementation of the revised Mining Code and its impact on the human rights of local populations, including in the context of COVID-19.
The abundance of natural resources in the DRC and the economic poverty of the population living in mining areas continues to represent a paradox. Adopted in March 2018, the new Mining Code has the potential to fight this scourge. But has it been effectively implemented? Representatives of local organisations working on human rights in the mining sector tried to answer this question while reporting the current situation.
“The main problem in the implementation of the regulation remains ignorance,” said Gilbert Dhego of the Justice & Peace Commission in Goma, which is due in part to "insufficient popularisation of the new code and poor local governance.” “In addition, there is limited application of the provisions relating to local development, which is one of the most innovative provisions of the new Code,” according to Fabien Mayani of the Carter Center, “and little attention is paid to human rights issues.” Faced with this situation, voices from Congolese civil society have risen to demand the effective implementation of the revised Mining Code, including a better distribution of wealth from mining operations for the benefit of local communities.
The high level of participation in the event - more than 100 people from associations, governments and the UN - demonstrates how much the implementation of the revised Mining Code in the DRC continues to be a major challenge. The organisers are committed to presenting the main conclusions drawn from the webinar to the Human Rights Council in order to demonstrate to the international community that it is fundamental to encourage the DRC to improve good governance in the mining sector.
The webinar aimed to raise awareness among States on the consequences of the poor implementation of the revised Mining Code on human rights in the DRC ahead of the discussions on item 10 on the agenda of the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council. It was organised by the NGOs Franciscans International, Commission Justice & Paix, the European Network for Central Africa (EurAc) and Dominicans for Justice and Peace in collaboration with local partners.
Watch the recording of the virtual event (English): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry0BdcC0lQQ
Africa Programme Coordinator, Franciscans International
M.Repellin@franciscansinternational.org Tel. +41 (0)22 779 4010
Mob. +41 (0)76 468 6791
Franciscans International is an international non-governmental organisation active in human rights advocacy at the United Nations.
Dominicans for Justice and Peace is a faith-based, non-governmental, non-profit organisation representing the Dominican Order at the United Nations and aims, among other things, to promote and defend human rights and to bring justice to those whose rights have been violated.
Commission Justice & Paix is a Belgian NGO that raises awareness and questions citizens, educational actors, and political leaders on issues of conflict, democracy and the environment.
The European Network for Central Africa (EurAc) brings together 36 European civil society organisations and advocates for a strong, coherent and sustainable commitment by the European Union and its Member States in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda.