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News from DCAF’s SHRIM: DRC government reaffirms engagement to join the Voluntary Principles Initiative

In September 2021, DCAF supported in gathering national and provincial stakeholders in Kinshasa at a workshop championed by the Congolese Ministry of Human Rights to discuss the impact achieved by Voluntary Principles Working Groups in the DRC to-date and the challenges and opportunities for further improvements in security and human rights in the extractive sector, in particular through the government’s engagement in the Voluntary Principles Initiative.

This workshop was opened by high-level speeches by the Congolese Human Rights Minister and the Ambassadors of Canada, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, reaffirming the importance of multistakeholder dialogue and the Voluntary Principles as a framework for promoting security and human rights best practices in the DRC.  Open-floor discussions continued, led by the technical focal points of the Ministries of Human Rights, Mines, and Hydrocarbons who presented a draft roadmap of necessary steps to formalise the government’s engagement in the Voluntary Principles and received input and suggestions from stakeholders in the audience. The workshop highlighted a new national dynamic towards Voluntary Principles implementation that DCAF will continue to support.

The mission in Kinshasa was also the occasion for DCAF to meet with the director of civil protection, in charge of the oversight of private security in all twenty-six provinces, and to meet with a senior official of the Congolese Police in charge of overseeing public security trainings, as well as other national and international stakeholders.