Chinese run mining in DRC

A recent seminar on IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles delivered to a team involved in supply chain risk management at the Responsible Sourcing Division of STR raised an interesting discussion: can we expect to see labor and human rights concerns previously associated with, say, textile industry supply chains in China now replicated in the Chinese-run mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)?

Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID), an NGO, recently published a snapshot of working conditions in Chinese-run enterprises in Katanga, DRC. RAID notes that more than 60 of Katanga’s 75 smelters and processing plants are owned by Chinese companies. RAID’s report alleges poor working conditions and widespread abuses by Chinese mining companies in Katanga.

Do you think that the IFC Performance Standards and a related guidance note on Workers’ accommodation: processes and standards will make any impact or are other steps still required? Also, do you know of any Chinese enterprises which are pursuing a positive leadership role in emerging markets but are not getting the attention they deserve?