1505 Working Group News on Natural Resources - May 2015

AEFJN Welcomes decision of the European Parliament on Conflict Minerals

 

AEFJN welcomes the vote of 20 May in the European Parliament, adopting mandatory requirements throughout the whole supply chain of products containing minerals and/or their derived metals from conflict areas. All companies sourcing tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold (3TG’s) as raw material or in (semi-) finished products will henceforth be obliged to conduct due diligence to make sure that their products do not finance armed groups or contribute to human rights violations. For this purpose companies importing, transforming and commercializing these minerals and metals will have to report on measures taken to identify and remedy risks in their supply chains.

 

By this mandatory traceability of 3TG’s conflict minerals as raw materials and as manufactured products will be subject to due diligence requirements to enter the EU-market; this will increase transparency of the industry as a whole allowing customers to verify whether their electronic products are “conflict-free”. Such a binding framework is more likely to break the links between the extraction and trade of minerals on the one hand and violent conflicts on the other. 

 

After months of campaigning several MEPs and well-known figures like Dr. Mukwege as well as civil society and consumer organisations welcomed this decision as a victory for peace, justice and humanity. Now the European Parliament will engage in a Trilogue with the European Commission and the European Council to defend this proposal. If approved in the Trilogue, European companies will have to abide by the mandatory requirements ensuring the traceability of minerals, to ensure that products containing 3TG’s are conflict-free.

So remain vigilant on your governments’ position on this issue. 

 

 

Gino Brunswijck

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