PHC (FERONIA) / 18-002
Complainant: Réseau d’Information et d’Appui aux ONG en RDC (RIAO-RDC) and its chairperson Mr. Jean-François Mombia Atuku on behalf of a number of persons including leaders from communities and groups from areas which are claimed to be impacted by the project.
Date Filed: November 5th, 2018
Last update: January 8th, 2019
Case Status: Preliminary Review
Plantations et Huileries du Congo SA (PHC) is a Congolese company which operates three long established palm oil plantations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) close to the river Congo. PHC produces mainly crude palm oil and palm kernel oil, which is all sold domestically in the DRC.
The complaint covers three areas of concern: the legitimacy of the land titles of the plantation and alleged deprivation of the use of customary land (1), alleged physical and human rights abuses by PHC security guards and police (2) and the lack of information and legal support of communities in negotiations with PHC (3). The complainants have requested to conduct a dispute resolution and mediation process with the aim of resolving the land dispute and seeking to address any consequent impacts on poverty and alleged harassment and human rights abuses.
The panel assessed the information provided to it and on January 7th, 2019 it determined that the complaint was admissible under the criteria of the Independent Complaints Mechanism Policy (2017).
After having declared that the complaint was admitted to further investigation the Independent Expert Panel started the preliminary review of the complaint in order to clarify essential pieces of information before seeking to initiate a mediation process.