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Swedish accompanies accused of violating rights in the Congo

Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Swedish companies are reported to have taken advantage of the vulnerability in the African country, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and to exploit the vulnerable people there including children.

The non - political and non - region organisation, Swedwatch in collaboration with another one, Diakonia examined the problems of human rights violations, corruption and dangerous working conditions in gold mining in eastern DRC.

The report "A lot of Gold, a lot of trouble" shows how the Swedish company, Mineral Invest lack of basic corporate social responsibility and respect for human rights in their operations in that part of the fragile country.

Mineral Invest which is a relatively small company, illustrates the problem that mineral extraction in post-conflict countries often bring along with them.

The company attracts Swedish and European shareholders with profitable gold mining in environmentally friendly and ethical profile. But analysis shows that Mineral Invest does not fulfilled its promises of schools, jobs or new roads for the local population.

The report also shows that Mineral Invest buy security services from soldiers who belonged to a unit suspicion of ethnic cleansing of minority populations. The soldiers accused of pushing local miners of money.

The money transactions Mineral Invest has done with the Congolese state, via the state company SOKIMO, are difficult to trace. The lack of transparency is serious. It is well known that the so-called conflict minerals, like gold, previously funded both rebel groups and the Congolese arm militia.
Mineral Invest's shares which are associated with this report are traded on with the stock market broker, AktieTorget,   and despite the criticism carried on this report, it continues to market and sell the shares.

The report calls on both Aktietorget, regulator Swedish FSA to improve its guidelines for companies operating in high-risk post-conflict countries.

Swedwatch is a non - religious and non- politically independent research organization. Their  purpose is to reduce social and environmental ills associated with Swedish-related companies operating overseas, particularly in low-wage countries, according to their website.
By Team

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