FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: In DRC, Daniel Mulé, email@example.com
NAGOYA, JAPAN — The Carter Center will receive the International Association for Impact Assessment's Institutional Award this week at the IAIA16: Resilience and Sustainability conference in recognition of its work with local civil society partners to protect human rights in the mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The IAIA said it chose the Center's Extractive Industries Governance Program for the award "because of its promotion of human rights impact assessment as a tool for change in the DRC."
The Carter Center's human rights impact assessment program began in late 2010 with an investigation into the impact on local communities of two companies in Haut-Katanga province. Working with local researchers, the Center adapted an assessment methodology designed by the Canadian nongovernmental organization Rights & Democracy for the Congolese mining sector. Since 2012, The Carter Center has provided direct technical and financial support to Congolese civil society organizations to develop their own human rights impact assessment cases studies of mining projects in the provinces of Lualaba, Sud Kivu, Ituri, and Kinshasa.
"We thank the IAIA for this important recognition of The Carter Center and its civil society partners," said David Carroll, director of the Democracy Program at The Carter Center. "We encourage the Congolese government to ensure the protection of local communities' rights in compliance with its international treaty obligations, and we urge companies to adopt best practices and meet global standards, including the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights."
The Carter Center recognizes the tireless commitment of its Congolese civil society partners, who successfully carried out four human rights impact assessment studies on mining projects between 2012 and 2015, and who continue to advocate for respect for human rights in extractive industries. In particular, the Center dedicates this award to our partners Association Africaine de Défense des Droits de l'Homme, Initiative pour le Bonne Gouvernance et les Droits Humains, Association d'Intégrité et la Bonne Gouvernance, Maison des Mines du Kivu, Cadre de Concertation des Ressources Naturelles de l'Ituri, and to all local communities affected by industrial mining activities in the DRC.
Later this year, The Carter Center plans to release a summary report that synthesizes the findings and lessons learned in the studies conducted by the Center and its partners.
According to Daniel Mulé, manager of the Carter Center's Extractive Industries Governance Program in DRC, "The findings of the HRIA case studies have allowed us to identify, understand, and confront common challenges to human rights across the mining sector. These challenges include insufficient community consultation, inadequate resettlement procedures, water and soil pollution, and limited remedies for victims."
Particularly encouraging for human rights advocates has been the willingness of some DRC extractives companies to take human rights issues into account both during the analysis and after the publication of reports. For example, one company accelerated its efforts to find replacement land for local residents evicted from their homes and farmland, and other companies offered compensation to certain community members to address this issue.
The Carter Center also thanks its academic partners, Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic and the Sciences Po Human Rights, Economic Development and Globalization Clinic, as well as the external donors of the Center and its civil society partners, whose critical support helped make this unique work possible, notably the Swedish International Development Agency, Humanity United, and American Jewish World Service.
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A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.