Demand strong EU rules on conflict minerals - FreedomUnited.org

Demand strong EU rules on conflict minerals

ALERT: READ UPDATE

It can be hard to imagine what it’s like to live in constant fear of exploitation, violence, forced labour and sexual slavery, but this is the everyday reality for many people working in and living around mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).1

Often without knowing it, many of us have a direct link to these atrocities. Much of the mining and trading of minerals in the eastern DRC is controlled by and generates funds for armed groups and rogue factions within the Congolese army. It’s these “conflict minerals” that are then globally traded and can end up in a huge range of household products, including your phone, your computer, your jewelry – and even your furniture.

Conflict minerals can also be traced back to other high-risk areas such as the Central African Republic and parts of Colombia where mining funds armed groups that visit unimaginable suffering on helpless civilians.

The European Parliament will soon vote on a proposal to encourage companies to check their supply chains to ensure that the minerals they buy don’t fund violence or suffering elsewhere.2 The proposed legislation is a landmark opportunity to get European companies to purchase minerals more responsibly and ensure European consumers can play a part in tackling the trade in conflict minerals.

But the current proposal doesn’t go far enough. The largely voluntary scheme on the table is unlikely to have any impact on the way European companies source their minerals or meaningfully reduce the trade in conflict minerals.

The European Parliament must vote to strengthen the proposal, specifically by:

  • Introducing legal requirements for companies to identify and eliminate conflict minerals in their supply chain.
  • Ensuring these rules cover companies bringing minerals from these areas into the EU, whether as a raw material or as part of finished products.

The European Union is one of the largest economies in the world, importing hundreds of billions of euros worth of goods everyday. If the EU takes a tough stance on this issue, and forces companies to be accountable for how they are sourcing these goods, it has huge potential to positively impact the trade in minerals and the violence and serious human rights violations associated with mining in the DRC and elsewhere.

Take action now.

Campaign updates

Wednesday 20 March: Campaign win! The European Parliament voted in favour of a historic new law to tackle the devastating trade in conflict minerals.* Thanks to nearly 300,000 of your actions, MEPs chose to endorse legislation that could really start to improve the lives of people suffering as a result of this devastating trade.

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Our partners in this campaign:

Enough Project

The Enough Project is helping to build a permanent constituency to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity. They are raising awareness and taking action to address human rights crimes in Sudan, Congo, and areas of Africa impacted by the Lord's Resistance Army.

Genocide and war crimes are not inevitable, and Enough wants to create noise and action both to stop ongoing atrocities and to prevent their recurrence. Their mission is to help people from every walk of life understand the practical actions they can take to make a difference. Their strategy is to energize diverse communities – including students, religious groups, activists, business leaders, celebrities, and Diaspora networks – to ensure that their voices are heard on some of the most pressing foreign policy and moral challenges facing the world today.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice personally. They are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. They are independent of any political ideology, economic interest or religion. No government is beyond scrutiny. No situation is beyond hope. Few would have predicted when they started that torturers would become international outlaws. That most countries would abolish the death penalty. And seemingly untouchable dictators would be made to answer for their crimes.

Global Witness

Many of the world’s worst environmental and human rights abuses are driven by the exploitation of natural resources and corruption in the global political and economic system. Global Witness is campaigning to end this. They carry out hard-hitting investigations, expose these abuses, and campaign for change. Global Witness is independent, not-for-profit, and works with partners around the world in our fight for justice.

Congo Calling

Congo Calling was launched off the back of Bandi Mbubi’s thought-provoking TEDx talk given on the 20th April 2012. There was so much enthusiasm and interest in working towards fair trade phones, and supporting clean mineral campaigns. They demand fair trade food and fair trade clothes. The time has come to demand fair trade phones. On the 20th April 2012, Bandi Mbubi presented his talk at TEDxExeter - Congo Calling - to a standing ovation. This campaign is the manifestation of the very human momentum that built up in response to Bandi’s talk. A seed was sewn, an idea worth spreading.

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