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13 Jun 2016

Amnesty International, Global Witness & others

Civil society groups call for effective EU law on conflict minerals in letter to Dutch Presidency

"Open letter to the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the Member States of the European Union," 13 Jun 2016

Minerals are key components in many everyday products…[H]owever, the extraction and trade of these resources is linked to conflicts and human rights abuses…[T]hese abuses persist, and companies are still buying and using such minerals without assessing…these risks…It is time for EU governments to take effective legislative action to ensure companies source minerals responsibly…EU institutions are currently working on a regulation that aims to tackle the…trade…of these minerals…As civil society organisations we have therefore called for a strong and effective regulation that would require all companies bringing these minerals into the EU…to perform some basic checks and due diligence on their supply chains…The Dutch government, acting as President of the Council of the EU, has worked hard to secure an agreement…[B]ut there is still work to be done…Companies that import these products must be covered by the regulation if the EU is to establish an effective due diligence system which prompts companies…to identify and mitigate the risk of contributing to conflict and human rights violations through their business activities…