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"European parliament must seize its chance to stop trade in conflict minerals"

Author: Letter by advocates, in Guardian (UK), Published on: 19 May 2015

On 20 May, the European parliament will vote on a proposed regulation to tackle the trade in conflict minerals....We are gravely concerned that the regulation proposed by the European Commission does not envision any real change. It makes it merely optional for importers to source these minerals responsibly. The proposed voluntary scheme would cover just 0.05% of companies using these minerals within the EU. No companies would be legally obliged to check whether they are complicit in financing conflict or human rights abuses...

Members of the European parliament have an opportunity to help break the links between the minerals trade, conflict and human rights abuses...We urge them to ensure that, in line with its fundamental principles, the European parliament demands additional binding rules that put respect for human rights above narrow economic interests.

Dr Denis Mukwege
Founder and medical director, Panzi hospital, Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Nicolas Van Nuffel
President, European Network for Central Africa (EurAc)
Christine Allen
Director of policy, Christian Aid
Iverna McGowan
Acting director and director of programmes, Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office
Patrick Alley
Co-founder and director, Global Witness
Oliver Buston
Director, Walk Free Movement
Karim Lahidji
President, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Brigitte Dufour
Director, International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)
Bernd Nilles
Secretary general, International Alliance of Catholic Development Agencies (CIDSE)
José Henríquez
Secretary General of Pax Christi International
Francesca Boniotti
Executive director, Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF)
Luis Enrique Eguren
Executive director, Protection International (PI)
Guido Barbera
President, Coordination of Popular Initiatives of International Solidarity (CIPSI)
Jérome Chaplier
Coordinator, the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)
José Ignacio Garcia SJ
Director, the Jesuit European Social Center (JESC)
Philippe Mayol
Head of Africa Department, CCFD-Terre Solidaire
Bernard Thibaud
Secretary General, Secours Catholique/Caritas France

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