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NiZA et al. vs. CPH

Case overview

Date filed 3 July 2003
Current status Rejected
Issue CPH & illegal resource exploitation in DRC
Summary of the case The UN Panel alleged that Chemie Pharmacie Holland (CPH) imported coltan from the eastern DRC. CPH’s business partner, Eagle Wings Resources International (EWRI), had an agreement with the rebel movement, RCD-Goma, to exploit coltan in South-Kivu. The Panel stated that EWRI received privileged access to coltan sites and captive labour, because of its close ties to the Rwandan military. When prices of coltan were dramatically raised in 2000, RCD-Goma installed a monopoly to benefit from revenues of the coltan export and used it to finance their war. Wide scale human rights violations took place in the mining area.

Although CPH has ended its activities in the DRC in April 2002, a number of NGOs regarded it as relevant to address the question as to whether or not CPHs involvement in coltan trade during the heights of the civil war were in compliance with the OECD Guidelines.The complainants argued that CPH did not make an effort to find out from which traders the coltan they imported originated, making it well possible that CPH bought coltan of which the revenues have directly supported war efforts of the RCD-Goma rebels and the Rwandan army. Another issue that needed clarification was whether tax payments made by EWRI to the RCD-Goma over its coltan exports were in accordance with the Guidelines.

Developments/Outcome In September 2003, the Dutch NCP accepted the case and held separate meetings with NiZA and CPH. The NCP met with both parties in February 2004, but a joint statement could not be agreed.
The Dutch NCP concluded the Guidelines were not applicable, because the lack of an investment nexus. Despite its decision, in May 2004, the NCP published a generic statement on corporate social responsibility and the Guidelines. The complainants, dissatisfied with the outcome, issued a press release in June 2004.

Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Santé et sécurité, Chaîne d’approvisionnement, Secteur minier, Les droits de l'homme, Fiscalité, Travail forcé, La participation politique, Environnement, Lien d’investissement, Organisation des Nations Unies, Les conflits violents, Corruption

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Netherlands
NCP address Bezuidenhoutesweg 67 2594 AC The Hague, Netherlands
NCP website
Other NCPs involved



Company Information

Company responsible Chemie Pharmacie Holland
Company address Hogehilweg 4
1101 CC Amsterdam
Company website
Company in violation Eagle Wings Resources International
Country of operations Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Some developments are only visible to logged in users.
Date Actor Action Description Document
15 June 2004 ActionAid Nederland press release NGOs issue a press release stating their dissatisfaction with the outcome. download pdf (49Kb)  
1 May 2004 National Contact Point Netherlands statement NCP concludes the Guidelines are not applicable, because the lack of an investment nexus. NCP publishes a generic statement on corporate social responsibility and the Guidelines. download pdf (26Kb)  
17 September 2003 National Contact Point Netherlands accept The Dutch NCP accepted the case.  
3 July 2003 Friends of the Earth Netherlands file Complaint filed with Dutch NCP. download pdf (54Kb)  
1 February 2002 Friends of the Earth Netherlands campaign Milieudefensie (FOE Netherlands) launched a letter writing action to ask CPH to investigate whether the military in the DRC profited from their activities. CPH never responded.  

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