NGOs call on EU to strengthen proposed conflict minerals regulation

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Article
5 November 2014

Congolese bishop urges EU to adopt binding regulation on conflict minerals

Author: Mgr François-Xavier Maroy Rusengo, Archbishop of Bukavu, on EurActiv (Belgium)

"EU must give assurances on the morality of trade in natural resources", 29 Oct

Resources from the Global South extracted by Europeans were used to fuel the biggest wars and conflicts of all time...[T]hose resources then helped build your peace and prosperity. I challenge [European governments] to be...consistent actor[s] for peace also beyond Europe, taking your part of responsibility so that resources in Africa, Asia and Latin America no longer fuel conflict on our continents, but rather contribute to our own prosperity. When it comes to European companies trading in our resources, we hope that the draft “conflict minerals” regulation...will be at least as strict as our own supply chain due diligence legislation...Together with 70 fellow bishops from four continents, I have signed a Church Leaders’ statement, supported by the international alliance of Catholic development agencies CIDSE, highlighting aspects to be strengthened if the regulation is to bring tangible change to suffering communities. We ask...European governments to meet the expectations of EU consumers, who want assurances that the resources in their mobile phones, computers or cars are not linked to human right violations and conflicts.

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Article
22 October 2014

Global investors urge EU to adopt stronger conflict minerals rules

Author: Responsible Sourcing Network

¨Group of Investors Urge European Union to Adopt Stronger Conflict Minerals Legislation¨, 21 Oct 2014

Yesterday, global sustainable and responsible investors and investment organisations representing more than €855 billion in assets under management sent a joint statement to the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council. The statement urges EU policy makers to ensure more compatibility between the proposed EU conflict minerals regulation and Section 1502 of the US Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (known informally as “Dodd-Frank Section 1502”), which aims to prevent mineral sourcing revenues from fuelling the armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The statement was initiated by a working group composed of Boston Common Asset Management, Calvert Investments, Eurosif, Responsible Sourcing Network, Trillium Asset Management, Triodos Investment Management, and US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment and has been signed by other organisations.

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Article
14 October 2014

70 Catholic bishops call for EU rules on conflict resources to be binding and consistent

Author: CIDSE

As the European Parliament prepares to debate legislation on responsible mineral sourcing (“conflict minerals”), 70 Catholic bishops from around the world are urging the EU to make the legislation’s requirements consistent in scope and binding for companies, rather than the current voluntary approach.

In a joint statement, supported by CIDSE, the international alliance of Catholic development agencies, they warn that European citizens expect guarantees that they are not complicit in financing conflict and human rights abuses.

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Article
14 October 2014

Walk Free action: "Demand Strong EU Rules on Conflict Minerals"

Author: Walk Free

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Article
29 September 2014

Amnesty Intl. & Global Witness call for stronger rules to avoid risk of European companies financing conflict in Dem. Rep. of Congo

Author: Amnesty International

"European companies allowed to reap rewards from deadly conflict mineral trade", 24 Sep 2014

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...The minerals can end up in products such as mobile phones, laptops, cars or light bulbs. 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...The U.S. and a dozen central African countries have measures in place requiring companies to investigate their mineral supply chains, but the EU has none. As the global demand for natural resources increases, the EU is at risk of becoming a major conflict minerals trading hub...The new analysis is revealed as the NGO coalition publicly calls on MEPs and EU Member States to overhaul the proposed law and create something that will give consumers confidence that their purchases do not contribute to harm overseas...

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Article
29 September 2014

Blog: Strength of EU rules under discussion; results of first US due diligence reports mixed

Author: Jamila Trindle, Foreign Policy blog

Europe is pushing ahead with rules designed to make companies disclose whether they use minerals mined in conflict zones, but efforts already underway in the United States are having mixed results.This summer, U.S. companies started making public whether their products possibly contained minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Advocates of that law argue that trade in minerals from the DRC supports armed groups that terrorize, rape, and kill civilians... Proponents of the crackdown on so-called "conflict minerals" are ramping up criticism of that regulatory approach, which is set for debate in the European Parliament later this year. "The EU 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," said Michael Gibb of Global Witness. "This legislation will not meaningfully reduce the trade in conflict minerals." Global Witness, Amnesty International, and more than 20 other organizations on Tuesday, Sept. 23, called on European leaders to make the rules binding and force more companies into the new regime...While the EU weighs how to proceed, U.S. companies are already learning more, and telling more, about their supply chains...[Refers to Intel]

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Item
1 September 2014

Campaign website

The European Commission is offering up a voluntary scheme [on conflict minerals] - meaning most companies won’t even have to abide by it. Plus, it only covers a paltry 0.05% of European companies involved in the trade. It is unlikely to have any significant impact on the trade in conflict minerals. You still won’t know if the companies selling your favourite purchases are acting responsibly.Parliamentarians, alongside our governments, must overhaul the law in order to change the way companies source natural resources from conflict-affected areas. First and foremost, it needs to be binding. But it also needs to cover enough companies to be meaningful.Join our campaign and tell your MEP that now is the time to break the link between conflict minerals and our favourite consumer goods. The time to act is now.

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