From 28 March-1 April 2022, DCAF supported national stakeholders in Mozambique to advance implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs).
Mozambique’s in-country VPs implementation process is focused on two working groups: a National Working Group launched in November 2021 to address strategic issues at the intersection of the security sector and Human Rights within the extractives sector, and a Technical Working Group in the province of Cabo Delgado, addressing the same issues in their operational dimension. Both working groups are led by the Mozambican Ministry of Justice and coordinated by a local civil society organisation – the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), with technical advice from DCAF.
DCAF supported a meeting of the National Working Group on 28 March to discuss the main conclusions of a baseline study developed by CDD on the current situation in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique’s northernmost province, home to an abundance of mineral resources that has attracted massive foreign investments. The findings of the baseline study, which identify the current security and Human Rights challenges in the region, as well as the opportunities of implementation for the VPs, will be available before May 2022.
On 31 March, DCAF supported the formal launch of the regional technical Working Group in Pemba, Cabo Delgado. The event provided a platform to discuss the preliminary findings of the baseline study, as well as to open dialogue between the representatives of the government, extractives companies and civil society organisations. The meeting also identified the Working Group’s thematic priorities for the months to come. Civil society members stressed the importance of ensuring an inclusive group and ensuring adequate representation of women and girls who suffer disproportionately from the human rights situation. They also welcomed the increasingly local component of the two working groups. Participants welcomed the development of material in Portuguese, including From Commitment to Impact: Experiences from Local Working Groups on Business, Security and Human Rights. Representatives of the private sector presented their efforts to fulfil their individual commitment to the VPs, highlighting the organisation of ‘Train the Trainers’ and community-engagement activities, and reaffirmed their will to participate actively in the two working groups.
Activities of the Working Group to promote the VPs in Mozambique have received generous support from the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Photo: Representatives of the Mozambican government, private companies and civil society organisations discuss the priorities for the regional Working Group of Cabo Delgado on the occasion of the launching event of the working group in the city of Pemba, 31 March 2022, Photo: DCAF.