In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the mining police (Police des Mines et Hydrocarbures) is the designated (and only) public security force allowed to operate around mine sites. Its mandate is to maintain security and order and fight against corruption and fraud. The Congolese government frequently faces capacity and expertise challenges in providing adequate training to the mining police. International organisations such as the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have supported in developing and delivering the curriculum, including training on respect for human rights during the performance of duties.
MONUSCO was first approached in 2012 by Freeport-McMoRan, in the framework of monthly multi-stakeholder meetings on security and human rights in Lubumbashi. The company requested a partnership in delivering human rights trainings to the security forces assigned to the Tenke Fungurume Mining concession area, the largest copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It proved to be an innovative and pragmatic solution to the fundamental need for responsible security in this significant concession, which stretches 160,000 km2. The strong presence of artisanal mining (from 110,000-150,000 miners) also means the concession is an important source of income for communities.
The first training was held in 2012 and focused on the rule of law, use of force, respect for human rights and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. The training was aligned with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. It included practical role-play exercises that trained participants on how to react in real-life situations, such as when approached by a violent protest. Participants included the mining police, territorial police, representatives of the National Intelligence Agency, the public prosecutor’s office, Tenke Fungurume Mining employees and contractors, civil society organisations and actors that took part in the multi-stakeholder security and human rights meetings. MONUSCO provided specialized trainers, while the company offered meals, transportation for attendees and on-site training facilities.
The training was the basis for a partnership between MONUSCO and Tenke Fungurume Mining and helped to establish an effective working relationship between the extractive company and the public security forces assigned to its operations.