Chinese companies involved in the extraction of minerals needed for the ecological transition have been accused of committing numerous human rights violations outside China since 2021, according to a report published on Thursday by the NGO Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.
According to the NGO, 39 Chinese mining companies are implicated in 102 cases of alleged human rights and environmental violations between January 2021 and December 2022.
"Our data shows that human rights and environmental violations are common in the exploration, extraction, and processing of transitional energy minerals", said a spokesperson for the NGO.
Of all the cases of alleged abuse, committed in 18 countries according to the NGO, 27 were recorded in Indonesia, 16 in Peru, 12 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 11 in Burma, and seven in Zimbabwe, among others.
China dominates the processing and refining of minerals that are essential to the ecological transition, in particular copper, nickel, and cobalt, which are used in batteries, for example.
By 2040, global demand for these minerals is expected to increase sixfold. The NGO has therefore called on China and the countries that host its companies to take "urgent measures" to limit the harmful effects of this transition.