From June 2022 to May 2023, Search for Common Ground (Search), with funding from USAID, has been implementing a project entitled “Support for the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) adherence to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.”
The extractive sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is an important source of revenue for the national economy, but it faces many challenges, including human rights and environmental violations, social conflicts and tensions between local communities and mining companies. The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) have been put in place to address these challenges, but there are still significant hurdles to be overcome in terms of their application by stakeholders.
Search conducted a study in the provinces of Haut Katanga, Sud Kivu, and Kongo Central – key in the mining and hydrocarbon sectors in the DRC – to identify best practices and appropriate policies for successful implementation of the Voluntary Principles.
Three key best practices were identified from the study:
-Recruitment of Local Manpower Among Private Security Guards
-Voluntary and Proactive Capacity-Building on Human Rights and Security Issues
-Staggered Deployment of Security Services During Demonstrations and Major Incidents
Overall, these three key ideas highlight the importance of local involvement, human rights education, and careful security planning in the context of extractive industries like mining. Implementing these concepts can lead to more sustainable and responsible mining practices that prioritize the welfare of local communities, respect human rights and minimize negative environmental impacts.