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11.11.11 et al vs. George Forrest International SA

Case overview

Date filed 24 November 2004
Current status Concluded
Issue Belgian companies illegal resource exploitation in DRC
Summary of the case In October 2002, a United Nations Panel of Experts accused 85 OECD-based companies of violating the Guidelines for their direct or indirect roles in the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In November, 2004, a group of Belgian NGOs filed a complaint against George Forrest International SA and 3 other Belgian companies concerning the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the DRC.

George Forrest International SA is alleged to have benefited from the new contractual arrangements with Gecamines while George Forrest was Chairman. Separate to the above, GFI is accused of not taking steps to ensure occupational health and safety when processing radioactive materials at the STL smelter in Lubumbashi, which is adjacent to a hospital. In addition, the company has failed to disclose information regarding its companies’ activities, structure, financial situation and performance and failed to publish environmental and social performance reports.

Developments/Outcome The NCP issued a statement that the Guidelines were respected “within the matter of possibility”. In the statement, the NCP also called for more transparency from GFI.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Health and safety, Supply chain, Extractives / mining sector, Human rights, Anti-competitive practices, Political involvement, Environment, United Nations, Disclosure of information, Violent conflict

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Belgium
NCP address Rue du Progrès 50 1210 Brussels, Belgium
NCP website www.ocde-principesdirecteurs.fgov.be
Other NCPs involved

Complainants

NGO

Company Information

Company responsible George Forrest International
Company address Avenue Pasteur 9
1300 Wavre
Belgium
Company website http://www.forrestgroup.com/
Company in violation George Forrest International
Country of operations Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
5 November 2005 National Contact Point Belgium statement The NCP issued a statement that the OECD Guidelines are respected “within the matter of possibility”. In the statement, the NCP also demanded more transparency from Forrest. download pdf (27Kb)  
5 November 2005 Wereldmediahuis vzw press release The complainants, unhappy with the NCP's statement, responded in a press release. download pdf (25Kb)  
24 November 2004 Wereldmediahuis vzw file A group of 15 Belgian NGOs filed a complaint at the Belgian NCP against George Forrest for its involvement in the GTL-STL joint venture in the DRC. download pdf (39Kb)  

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