German company and individuals concerning employment and environmental issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Lead NCPGermany
Supporting NCP(s)
DescriptionSpecific instance submitted by individuals concerning a German company and employment and environmental issues
Theme(s)Concepts and principles, Disclosure, Employment and industrial relations, Environment, Human rights, Combating bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion
Date6 May 2019
Host country(ies)Democratic Republic of the Congo
Industry sectorManufacturing, Other service activities
StatusNot accepted

Read the final statement published by the German NCP – 16 December 2019

Read the final statement published by the Luxembourg NCP – 21 November 2019

Read the final statement published by the Swiss NCP – 22 January 2020

Read about the specific instance handled by the Luxembourg NCP in the OECD Database

On 6 May 2019, four former employees and union representatives of a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) company submitted a specific instance alleging that the Congolese company, its Luxembourg holding company and a German company did not observe the OECD Guidelines. The case was submitted to the Belgian, German, Luxembourg, and Swiss NCPs.

The main allegation of the submitting parties, concerning the Congolese company and its Luxembourg holding company, asserted that the company was involved in employment and industrial relations issues in the Congo in 2019. Furthermore, the specific instance alleged that the German company, which had engaged in development cooperation with the Congolese company between 1999 and 2007, was involved in employment and environmental issues over the past 20 years. These allegations include: the discharge of wastes in the open, intensive reliance on low paid day labourers, no compensation or rehabilitation of workers in cases of occupational accidents, and finally irregularities in a management buy-out and the restructuring of the Congolese company during the civil war in Congo.

The NCPs of Luxembourg and Germany separated the handling of the specific instance, and the Swiss NCP acted as a support NCP and did not conduct its own procedure. On 21 November 2019, the Luxembourg NCP published its final statement not accepting the case. On 16 December 2019, the German NCP published its final statement not accepting the case for further examination because the allegations against the German company were not substantiated and there was no link between the company’s activities and the issues raised. On 22 January 2020, The Swiss NCP published its final statement, communicating on the coordination in the specific instance, and noting that it did not conduct its own procedures as it did not take the lead on either case.