EU failing to stifle deadly trade in conflict minerals, warn Global Witness & Amnesty Intl.

Author: Amnesty Intl., Published on: 26 September 2014

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The European Union is failing to stifle a deadly trade in conflict minerals, a coalition of rights groups including Global Witness and Amnesty International warned today, ahead of weak new legislation being discussed in Parliament. A new analysis by Global Witness shows that companies are bringing billions of euros worth of minerals into Europe without having to disclose if their purchases finance armed groups or human rights violations in countries ravaged by conflict. “At the moment we have no way of knowing what European companies are doing to avoid funding conflict or human rights abuses,” said Michael Gibb of Global Witness. "The European commission has proposed legislation it claims will tackle the problem, but the draft law only goes so far as to suggest companies voluntarily check and declare the source of their minerals. Studies show companies simply don’t check their supply chains, unless they are required to...In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia and Central African Republic, the trade has fuelled deadly conflicts that have displaced over 9.4 million people and led to egregious human rights abuses.  In Colombia, the mining companies themselves have been associated with human rights violations.

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