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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Child Labor and Human Rights Violations in the Mining Industry of the Democratic Republic of Congo

Thursday, July 14, 2022 - 1:00pm
2200 Rayburn House Office Building and Virtual via Cisco WebEx

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on “Child Labor and Human Rights Violations in the Mining Industry of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” 

The Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes the “right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous.”  The Forced Labour Convention of 1930 and related instruments prohibit all forms of forced or compulsory labor.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a resource rich but governance poor country. Seventy percent of all the world’s mining of cobalt – constituting a major part of the global supply chain – occurs within the DRC, and an estimated 40,000 children toil in non-regulated artisanal mines under hazardous conditions.  Environmental degradation is a corollary byproduct.  Foreign concerns – primarily Chinese and Russian – are prevalent in the DRC’s mining sector. Corruption of public officials who are responsible for granting licenses and selling assets is a significant problem.  Civil society organizations and the Catholic Church are among those seeking to redress and ameliorate abuses.

This hearing will examine human rights violations in the DRC’s mining sector, including child and forced labor, disregard for worker safety, and environmental degradation. It will look at the role played by outside actors, including Chinese and Russian concerns, in corrupting government regulatory regimes in the DRC, and what impact this has on the global supply chain of certain extracted minerals.  It will also examine the role of civil society in combatting such abuses.

This hearing will be hybrid. Pursuant to H. Res. 965, Members of Congress and witnesses will participate in person or remotely via Cisco WebEx. Members of the public and the media may view the hearing by live webcast on the Commission website. The hearing will also be available for viewing on the House Digital Channel service. For any questions, please contact Piero Tozzi  (for Co-Chair Smith) or Kimberly Stanton (for Co-Chair McGovern).   

Hosted by:

Christopher H. Smith
Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC
James P. McGovern
Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC

    Opening remarks


    Panel I

    Submitted for the Record


    117th Congress