…minerals and, in general, the wealth contained in the earth, the soil and subsoil, constitute a precious gift of God, which humanity has been using for thousands of years. – Pope Francis, July 17, 2015 to experts and investors in mining sector
In our last flyer, we reflected on two aspects of Human Rights abuses in DRC: repressive actions around the upcoming elections which are taking place Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018 and the reality of children mining for colbalt for our electronic products. This week, we explore the responses of our Dominican Family. This information augments the trifold brochure: “A Multifaceted Country on a Long Road to Peace”.
The Order Identifies DRC as a Priority Country for UN
… the Delegation of the Dominican Order to the United Nations identified the DRC as a priority country for its advocacy in the United Nations in Geneva. The Delegation, composed of Fr. Mike Deeb OP and Ms Laurence Blattmer, met with the Dominicans in Kinshasa and Isiro (Haut Uélé Province). Together, they organized two training sessions on the UN human rights system, the role of civil society, and the engagement of Dominicans in the promotion and protection of human rights. Each training session brought together some forty participants from different branches of the Dominican family, Catholic organizations and non-governmental organizations active in the field of human rights.
Objectives of the training included:
- to identify the key issues for each of the two regions as well as for the whole country,
- to familiarize participants with the United Nations human rights mechanisms in Geneva; and
- to give them the necessary tools to make effective use of the Universal Periodic Review, a human rights review mechanism that will assess the situation in the DRC in May 2019.
As a result of the interactions among the participants, the delegation was able to gather vital information on the current human rights situation in the country, which will enable it to submit a joint report to the Universal Periodic Review. Among the main concerns identified by the participants were the restriction of fundamental freedoms in Kinshasa, the prevailing insecurity in the province of Haut Uélé, the right to
health and access to free education, and the numerous violations of human rights around the exploitation
of natural resources.
These training sessions in the DRC are part of a process of strengthening capacity of the grass root communities. Dominicans for Justice and Peace hopes to foster a long-term collaboration with Dominicans and other civil society actors in the DRC in order to reinforce their work together on the
ground and to ensure an effective promotion and protection of human rights at the national and international levels.
Position Statement Signed by Dominican Delegation to the UN
The Dominican Delegation to the United Nations cosigned the position statement adopted by European Commissions for Justice and Peace.
Position Statement: “Breaking the link between minerals and armed conflicts: a mandatory European regulation is necessary!”
Read the full position statement here: http://www.iupax.at/fileadmin/documents/stellungnahmen/conflict_minerals_european_commissions_for_justice_and_peace.pdf
Read and seek additional resources