(London, November 25, 2019) – Four European development banks are financing a palm oil company in the Democratic Republic of Congo that is violating workers’ rights and dumping untreated waste, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The company, Feronia, will hold a shareholders meeting with the four banks in London on November 25, 2019 to discuss the company’s environmental and social track record.

The 95-page report, “A Dirty Investment: European Development Banks’ Link to Abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Palm Oil Industry,” documents that investment banks owned by Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom are failing to protect the rights of people working and living on three plantations they finance. Human Rights Watch found that Feronia and its subsidiary in Congo, Plantations et Huileries du Congo, S.A. (PHC), exposes workers to dangerous pesticides, dumps untreated industrial waste into local waterways, and engages in abusive employment practices that result in extreme poverty wages.