Certain minerals (including tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold) have been linked with funding killings, violence, rape, and other human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other conflict zones. These minerals can enter multinational companies' supply chains, and are used in consumer products, including laptops, mobile phones and cars. In the past years, various voluntary and regulatory measures have been implemented to ensure responsible sourcing of minerals and stem financing of related human rights abuses.
In 2011, the OECD published guidance on due diligence for responsible supply chains of minerals from conflict zones, with a supplement on tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. This guidance has been recognised as an international framework for due diligence and has been referred to in the subsequent US conflict minerals law. On 22 August 2012, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to adopt regulations to implement key provisions of the 2010 financial reform law known as "Dodd-Frank". The US Dodd-Frank Act's conflict minerals provision requires certain companies traded on US stock exchanges to disclose steps they are taking to avoid sourcing certain minerals from mines controlled by armed groups that use the mineral sales to fund violence.