May 21st, 2015, Romania – The European Parliament has voted in favour of regulation to prevent the trade in conflict minerals along the whole supply chain. Conflict minerals are defined in the legislation as gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten. The extraction and trade with these commodities in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo or Colombia have been financing illegally armed groups that are violating human rights of civilians.
“The European Parliament has set an important sign”, says Anna Backmann of the organisation Christliche Initiative Romero. They have made the right decision according to her statement. “This move places more responsibility on the companies involved. Only they can trace whether conflict minerals are used when manufacturing electronic products”, Anna Backmann adds. “We need transparent and binding reporting throughout the whole supply chain”, says Michael Reckordt from PowerShift e.V. This would correspond to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises. “These companies have not complied with minimum human rights requirements through voluntary commitment.” Michael Reckordt states further.
After the Parliamentary vote, the Commission now needs to revise the regulation. CIR and PowerShift are demanding effective regulation within the framework of the European campaign “Stop Mad Mining”. These calls are supported internationally by many civil society organisations, 140 bishops, investors, small and medium sized companies and 44,000 supporters of an online petition.
The campaign “Stop Mad Mining”, which consists of twelve European and one Salvadorian organisation, is calling for binding regulations regarding environmental and social standards including human rights when extracting raw materials as well as a reduction of consumption.
Mining Watch Romania is also part of the “Stop Mad Mining” campaign.
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Foto credit: Global Witness and Cape Breton Independent
This press release has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this press release are the sole responsibility of Mining Watch Romania and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.