Driving change in the Democratic Republic of Congo: an initial mapping of participation in mineral regulation and responsible sourcing

Authors: Sarah Katz-Lavigne, Hadassah Arian, Raphaël Deberdt and Sara Geenen

Working Paper 2023.04

Ethical supply chain initiatives, such as mandatory human rights due diligence (mHRDD) and responsible sourcing initiatives for minerals, are rapidly multiplying. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, faced with violent conflict and a range of human rights issues, has grown into a laboratory for such initiatives, to an extent that it has become difficult to see the forest for the trees. In this working paper, we make an attempt at providing a comprehensive – though inevitably incomplete – overview of initiatives, programmes, and projects (past, present, and upcoming) that have been created by actors at different levels of the supply chains in response to growing concerns around Congolese minerals. More specifically, these measures relate, first, to the 3Ts (tin, tantalum, tungsten) and gold, extracted in particular in the conflict-affected eastern provinces and second, the more recent booming demand for copper and cobalt (2C) from the provinces of Haut-Katanga and Lualaba in southeastern DRC. With a theoretical focus on participation, this working paper lays the groundwork for further research on the participation of small-scale producers in the design, implementation, and governance of transnational mineral supply chain initiatives.