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ADIMED vs. Pharmakina S.A., Pharmeg S.A.

Case overview

Date filed 6 May 2019
Current status Rejected
Issue Pharmakina human and labour rights harms in DRC civil war
Summary of the case An NGO from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) called ADIMED (Action pour le développement et l’innovation médicale) submitted a complaint to the Luxembourg and German NCPs arguing that Pharmakina SA, a manufacturer of quinine in the DRC, and its Luxembourg-incorporated holding company Pharmeg SA, had breached the OECD Guidelines Employment and Industrial Relations, Human Rights, and other chapters by dismissing union leaders who asked the company to comply with a Congolese decree requiring that workers be paid at least $5 per day.
Developments/Outcome While the complaint was underway, one of the workers representatives was arrested and imprisoned by DRC law enforcement, in part for filing an NCP complaint. A Congolese prosecutor sought the death penalty for the workers, later reduced to seeking life imprisonment.

On 21 November 2019, the Luxembourg NCP rejected the complaint on grounds that it had no territorial jurisdiction over Pharmeg, the holding company of Pharmakina. The NCP stated that the "Luxembourg incorporated holding company’s only purpose – as it
inherently should be for a holding company – consisted in a legal vehicle for raising capital as well as transferring and holding ownership, in order to protect the resulting investment by settling in a
stable and safe country at the time of the troubles in Congo in 1998-1999. As a result, PHARMEG SA has no – and cannot have – operational activity in Luxembourg, has no decision-making activity there – not even a strategic one – and consequently employs no workforce. In fact, all the activities, all operations and decisions take place in Congo, as the complainants’ claims and griefs themselves make clear."
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Labour rights

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Luxemburg
NCP address Luxemburg, Luxembourg
NCP website https://cdc.gouvernement.lu/fr/service/attributions/point-contact-national-luxembourgeois.html
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

NGO

Company Information

Company responsible Pharmeg SA
Company address
Company website
Company in violation
Country of operations Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
21 November 2019 National Contact Point Luxemburg initial assessment Initial assessment rejecting complaint. download pdf (670Kb)  
6 May 2019 Action pour le développement et l’innovation médicale file Complaint filed.  

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