Lack of supply chain due diligence in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Lead NCPUnited Kingdom
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the NGO Global Witness regarding the activities of Afrimex UK Ltd, a UK-based multinational enterprise operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Theme(s)Employment and industrial relations
Date20 Jul 2007
Host country(ies)Democratic Republic of the Congo
Industry sectorWholesale and retail trade

Read the final statement issued by the UK NCP concluding the specific instance - 28 August 2008

In July 2007 UK NCP received a request for review from the NGO Global Witness alleging that Afrimex UK Ltd had breached the general principles, employment and industrial relations, and combating bribery provisions of the Guidelines. The NGO also alleged that Afrimex practiced insufficient due diligence on the supply chain, sourcing minerals from mines that used child and forced labour.

After investigating the allegations the NCP concluded that the majority were accurate except for the alleged breach of the bribery and corruption provisions.

The NCP found that Afrimex had initiated the demand for minerals sourced from a conflict zone. Afrimex had sourced these minerals from an associated company, and 2 independent comptoirs who paid taxes and mineral licences to RCD-Goma when they occupied the area and these payments contributed to the ongoing conflict. Therefore the NCP concluded that Afrimex failed to contribute to the sustainable development in the region; to respect human rights; or to influence business partners and suppliers to adhere to the Guidelines. Furthermore the NCP concluded that Afrimex did not apply sufficient due diligence to the supply chain and failed to take adequate steps to contribute to the abolition of child and forced labour in the mines or to take steps to influence the conditions of the mines. The NCP however did not find that Afrimex had failed to fulfil the bribery and corruption chapter of the Guidelines or had improper involvement in local politics.

In concluding the specific instance the NCP made a series of recommendations outlined their final statement issued 28 August 2008.