E Acceptable Conditions Of Work
The government sets regional minimum wages for all workers in private enterprise, with the highest pay scales applied to the cities of Kinshasa and Lubumbashi. The prime minister decreed the new minimum daily wage would increase from 1,680 to 7,075 Congolese francs as of May 10, progressively, which would raise the minimum wage above the World Bank poverty level of $1.90 per day. This increase was scheduled in 25-percent installments, and the first two occurred in June and December. The National Labor Council, the countrys highest labor forum, is a tripartite organization formed by unions, government, and employers. According to the labor code, ordinary sessions of the National Labor Council should take place twice a year. The most recent session took place in October 2017.
In the public sector, the government sets wages annually by decree and permits unions to act only in an advisory capacity.
The law defines different standard workweeks, ranging from 45 to 72 hours, for various jobs and prescribes rest periods and premium pay for overtime. The law establishes no monitoring or enforcement mechanism, and employers in both the formal and informal sectors often did not respect these provisions. The law does not prohibit compulsory overtime.
Democratic Republic Of Congo
Events of 2019
Incoming Democratic Republic of Congos President Felix Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa on January 24, 2019, after Tshisekedi was sworn into office.
Felix Tshisekedi was sworn in as president on January 24, 2019, following long-delayed and disputed national elections, marred by widespread irregularities, voter suppression, violence, and interference from armed groups. More than a million Congolese were unable to vote in the presidential election because voting in three areas was postponed to March 2019, officially because of security and concerns over an Ebola outbreak in the east.
At his swearing in, Tshisekedi said his administration would guarantee to each citizen the respect of the exercise of their fundamental rights and end all forms of discrimination, promising that his government would prioritize an effective and determined fight against corruption impunity, bad governance, and tribalism. His administration released most political prisoners and activists detained during the countrys protracted political crisis, and those living in exile were allowed to return home. In March, Tshisekedi removed Kalev Mutondo as director of the National Intelligence Agency, where he was a principal architect of former President Joseph Kabilas administrations drive to repress dissent.
The Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Drc
After the 2006 election, the DRC engaged in a wide range of judicial reforms to ensure that the judiciary was independent of the other arms of government. Although the constitution guarantees the independence of the judiciary, there is still substantial interference from the executive and the legislative branch. The Judicial branch comprises of the Supreme Court, Court of Cessation, and the Constitutional Court. The president in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission is responsible for the appointment of judges.
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The Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Congo
The legislative power is exercised by the government and the two levels of parliament. The parliament is bicameral consisting of the lower and the upper houses known as National Assembly and the Senate respectively. The members of the National Assembly are elected to a five-year term. The Senate has 203 members who are elected to a six-year term with 137 members elected directly in single-member constituency while 66 members are elected indirectly by the regional governing council. The legislatures are responsible for policy making and approval of some of the presidential decisions such as the declaration of war.
Dr Congo Journalist Dies From Bullet Wounds
The world through its media
A journalist in the Democratic Republic of Congo has died from bullet wounds sustained when police clashed with bandits, local media report.
Jean-Marie Luzingu was in the Kinshasa communes of Bandalungwa and Bumbu when the clashes happened.
He was hit by a bullet fired by the local police, eyewitnesses told Mishapi Voice radio.
His fellow Congolese journalists have been mourning his death on Twitter, with one describing it as “painful” and “sad”.
A search is underway to trace the perpetrator who is on the run, Mishapi Voice reports.
The media professionals’ guild has demanded justice, it says.
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A Arbitrary Deprivation Of Life And Other Unlawful Or Politically Motivated Killings
There were numerous reports the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings.
The state security forces committed arbitrary or unlawful killings in operations against RMGs in the east and in the Kasai region . According to the UN Joint Office of Human Rights , security forces were responsible for 389 extrajudicial killings across the country as of years end. Many of these extrajudicial killings occurred in the Kasais, where the SSF fought Kamuina Nsapu and other antigovernment militias. RMGs were responsible for at least 780 summary executions.
In March a joint report by the UN human rights office in Kinshasa and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights covering January 2017 through January stated that the SSF used illegal, systematic, and disproportionate force against protesters, resulting in 47 civilian deaths. On November 12 and 15, police were responsible for the deaths of two students who were protesting against a teachers strike at the University of Kinshasa.
RMGs committed arbitrary and unlawful killings throughout the year . Numerous armed groups recruited and used children as soldiers and human shields and targeted the SSF, members of the government, and others.
B Prohibition Of Forced Or Compulsory Labor
The constitution prohibits all forms of forced or compulsory labor. Under the labor code, conviction of forced labor is punishable by a maximum of six months imprisonment, a fine, or both conviction of forced child labor is punishable by one to three years imprisonment, a fine, or both. The law also provides for a penalty of 10 to 20 years imprisonment for the conviction of the enrollment or use of children younger than age 18 in the armed forces or police. Penalties for violations were an insufficient deterrent because the government did not effectively enforce the law.
In cases of nonpayment of requisite and applicable taxes, the law allows detention or the exaction of work for the purpose of national development . The government, however, did not invoke this provision.
Some police officers arrested individuals arbitrarily to extort money from them . There were reports of police forcing those who could not pay to work until they earned their freedom. In September an article in The Economist reported a study indicating that Kinshasa traffic police received 80 percent of their income from corruption.
The government did not effectively enforce laws prohibiting forced or compulsory labor and took no action against those who used forced labor and abducted civilians for forced labor. The government did not report any official forced labor investigations, and there were no prosecutions. Little if any information existed on the removal of victims from forced labor.
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German Development Cooperation With The Democratic Republic Of The Congo
Due to the current crisis and the urgent reforms that still need to be undertaken, government negotiations between Germany and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been suspended for the time being. Ongoing development cooperation has been restricted to activities that benefit the population directly.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development focuses on working with decision-makers at the local level and with Congolese civil society.
The main focus of German activities is on the following priority areas:
- Drinking water supply
Democratic Republic Of The Congoa Country In Deep Crisis
On paper, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a wealthy country. It has an abundance of valuable natural resources, large reserves of freshwater and huge tropical rainforests. However, many decades of exploitation under colonial rule, followed by years of dictatorship and then armed conflicts have reduced the country to abject poverty.
In social and humanitarian terms, the country is in a dire state. On the latest United Nations Human Development Index DR Congo is ranked 175th out of the 189 countries listed.
After being repeatedly unlawfully postponed, presidential elections eventually took place in December 2018. The opposition politician Felix Tshisekedi was declared the unexpected winner. Doubts regarding the legitimacy of the result were expressed both at home and abroad. Whether the new head of state will manage to steer the country out of the deep political crisis it is facing and into more peaceful waters remains to be seen. The need for reform is huge.
This Central African country plays an important geostrategic role its political, economic and social development has a considerable impact on the situation in its nine neighbouring countries. And the conservation of its rainforests is of vital importance for the global climate.
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Tax And Legal Framework
The taxes and customs duties applicable to mining rights in the hydrocarbon sector are defined by the terms of the agreements signed by the parties involved, notwithstanding the requirements of common law or fiscal regime. There are two conventional tax regimes in the hydrocarbons sector, based on two agreements that have been signed to date, namely the tax regime of onshore exploitation, for example PERENCO REP and LIREX associate, and the tax regime for offshore operations, for example MIOC, TEIKOKU and CHEVRON-ODS. Oil companies in the first group pay the State royalties, dividends and a special fixed-rate tax. Oil companies in the second group pay the State statistical tax, the distributable margin, a share on behalf of the State portfolio and a tax on professional profits. The fiscal and legal regimes are determined by the 2015 Hydrocarbon Law.
The 2002 Mining Code was replaced by the 2018 Mining Code in March 2018, with implementing 018/024 published in June 2018. The new Code increased taxes on profits, doubled the government’s stake in new mining projects, increased royalty rates for “strategic” minerals and paved the way to the cancellation of stabilisation clauses introduced under the 2002 Mining Code.
C Prohibition Of Child Labor And Minimum Age For Employment
The child protection code and labor code set the minimum age for work at 16, and Ministerial Order No. 12 sets the minimum age for hazardous work at 18. The law also stipulates children may not work for more than four hours per day and restricts all minors from transporting heavy items. Penalties for conviction of violations for the worst forms of child labor, which are one to three years of imprisonment and fines as high as 20,000 Congolese francs , were insufficient to deter violations.
The Ministry of Labor has responsibility for investigating child labor abuses but had no dedicated child labor inspection service. In 2016 the National Labor Committee adopted a new action plan to fight the worst forms of child labor its implementation was scheduled to start during the year however, implementation had not begun as of September due to lack of funds. Other government agencies responsible for combating child labor include the Ministry of Gender, Family, and Children Ministry of Justice Ministry of Social Affairs and National Committee to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor. These agencies had no budgets for inspections and conducted no child labor investigations.
While criminal courts continued to hear child labor complaints, neither the courts nor other government agencies effectively enforced these laws. The government did not allocate relevant ministries and the National Committee to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor specific budgetary resources.
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C Torture And Other Cruel Inhuman Or Degrading Treatment Or Punishment
The law criminalizes torture, but there were credible reports that the SSF continued to torture civilians, particularly detainees and prisoners. In November the British nongovernmental organization Freedom from Torture reported that torture was widespread both inside and outside conflict zones in DRC. It had accumulated witness testimony of almost 900 cases of torture from DRC, including 74 cases from 2013 to 2018. The report states, Torture is used predominantly as a form of punishment for political and human rights activism, and as a deterrent against future involvement. Throughout the year activists circulated videos of police beating unarmed and nonviolent protestors.
As of October 10, the United Nations reported that it had received 15 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against military, police, and civilian personnel deployed with MONUSCO during the year. Of these cases, 11 involved allegations of an exploitative relationship three involved allegations of transactional sex two involved the alleged rape of a child, and one involved sexual assault. As of October 10, all investigations were pending. The United Nations also reported that Bangladeshi peacekeepers were involved in sexual exploitation and abuse while deployed in MONUSCO from 2015 to 2017. The peacekeepers in question were repatriated by the United Nations, and investigations by Bangladeshi government were pending at the end of the year.
Prison and Detention Center Conditions
Expanded Access To Health Services
Improving the allocation and efficient use of health spending in the DRC has alreadyreduced the cost of care for many patients, strengthened service quality, and increased the uptake of services through the rollout of performance-based financing in 11 provinces amongst other interventions. The World Bank and the GFF are contributing to better outcomes by focusing their investment on those 11 provinces.
- Increased access to primary health facilities
- The average number of outpatient admissions in facilities where payments were linked to performance rose from 59 to 67 percent between 2018 and the first quarter of 2020. The increase in admissions ranged among provinces, from 21 percent in Haut Katanga to 84 percent in Sud Ubangi.
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G Abuses In Internal Conflict
Conflicts continued in parts of eastern DRC, particularly in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Tanganyika, Ituri, Upper Uele, Lower Uele, and provinces in the Kasai region . Foreign RMGs, such as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda , the Allied Democratic Forces/National Army for the Liberation of Uganda , the National Forces of Liberation, and the Lords Resistance Army , as well as indigenous RMGs such as various Mai Mai groups, Kamuina Nsapu, and the Bana Mura continued to perpetrate violence against civilians.
Conflict among armed groups caused significant population displacement and led to many human rights violations. In North Kivu, the Nduma Defense of CongoRenewal , Mai Mai Mazembe, the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo , the FDLR, as well as a host of smaller armed groups fought among themselves and caused significant population displacements as they fought over territory. In June the UN Group of Experts reported that the SSF worked in coordination with armed groups, including by supplying materials, to foster conflict among armed groups in North Kivu. The UNGOE reported that FARDC and NDC-R commanders regularly conferred informally to discuss attacks on other armed groups. In July, however, the FARDC launched a significant offensive against the NDC-R.
Kamuina Nsapu and Bana Mura militias also committed serious human rights abuses against children .
ADF continued to kidnap children and use them as combatants.
The Executive Branch Of The Government Of Congo
Following the 2015 constitutional referendum, the Republic of Congo became a semi-presidential republic with the president heading the state and the prime minister being in charge of the government affairs. The executive comprises of the president together with the prime minister, and ministers. The president is elected to a maximum of three five-year terms. The prime minister together with the ministers is appointed by the president. The president is also in charge of the international relations and protects the country against external aggressors. The prime minister directs all the affairs of the government and presides over the Council of Ministers in the absence of the president. The Council of Ministers is responsible for coordinating and directing affairs of their respective ministries.
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E Denial Of Fair Public Trial
Although the law provides for an independent judiciary, the judiciary was corrupt and subject to influence. Officials and other influential individuals often subjected judges to coercion. On August 16, the minister of justice claimed to have issued an international arrest warrant for businessman and opposition politician Moise Katumbi, who was convicted in 2015 of real estate fraud despite a Catholic Council of Bishops 2017 report concluding that the SSF pressured judicial officials to convict him. It was not clear that any warrant was actually issued. CENCO also concluded that a similar property fraud case against opposition member and businessman Jean-Claude Muyambo was equally unfounded and amounted to judicial harassment. Muyambo, who claimed to have permanent damage to his foot following beatings during his arrest in 2015, was sentenced to five years in prison in 2017 and ordered to pay 1,580,000 Congolese francs in damages for conviction of breach of trust and illegal retention of documents. Muyambo was among the prisoners slated to be released by the justice ministry on December 30, but he remained in prison at years end.
POLITICAL PRISONERS AND DETAINEES
CIVIL JUDICIAL PROCEDURES AND REMEDIES
Individuals may seek civil remedies for human rights violations within the civil court system. Most individuals, however, preferred to seek redress in the criminal courts.