Articles from other organizations on the issues AEFJN works at.

1609 Why the EU’s new deal on Responsible Mineral Sourcing is a missed Opportunity

The EU has reached a “political understanding” on a new law intended to clean up the European minerals trade. The law aims to make sure European companies behave more responsibly when sourcing minerals that may be linked to conflict and human rights abuses. It will put some EU companies on the road to becoming more transparent when sourcing some key minerals. Companies that import tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold ores into the EU will be required to check their supply chains for risks, and to publicly report on what they have done about them. 


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Republic of Well Being?

The Sustainable Development Goals set to be adopted this month are theoretically geared towards realizing the primacy of human and environmental wellbeing before profit. But is this a realisable feat by the UN? It is known that the only obstacle to the epiphany of this republic is what Hilary Clinton criticized as the “quarterly capitalism” of the multinational corporations. If the world governing body is keen to realise the SDGs, then there must be policy framework that will discontinue the irresponsible activities of many multinational corporations.


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1503-1502 125 Church leaders ask the EU to put a stop to conflict minerals ahead of crucial votes

CIDSE has published a statement signed by 125 Church Leaders asking for binding requirements for companies sourcing minerals from conflict areas to be put into place. They also ask that the companies and the minerals covered by the proposal are widened. The Statement was first published in October 2014 and Bishops continue to sign up to the declaration as they are very concerned about the fate of communities affected by conflict that is connected to the extraction and trade of minerals. On the CIDSE website you will find the common declaration of the Bishops in English, French, Spanish and German. 

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1501 Nigeria: Long-awaited victory as Shell finally pays out £55 million over Niger Delta oil spills

Oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, has paid out compensation of £55 million to a community situated in the Niger Delta that had been severely damaged by the company’s oil spills. Human Rights defenders Amnesty International considers this an important victory in the fight against corporate negligence. Many farmers and fishermen in Bodo saw their livelihoods crumble and vanish as a consequence of the pollution caused by Shell. The local population filed a complaint in the company’s home country, the United Kingdom. As a consequence of the legal action UK Shell was forced to disclose information on the amount of oil spilt, which drove the company to agree on an out-of-court settlement with the victims of its pollution. This settlement can be seen as a victory because the affected community can now start rebuilding its livelihoods. This case is also a sign of hope for those still trying to get justice for the suffering caused by economic exploitation. 

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The “Billion Dollar Map” Under the Appearance of Good

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_epas/im_csr/ It is estimated that 30 sub-Saharan African countries are significantly rich in natural resources and that they hold 30% of the natural resources world’s reserves of uranium, platinum, diamonds and gold. Moreover, the continent has many reserves of oil, coal and gas. In spite of this wealth, 50% of its population is living below the poverty line. The World Bank wants to reverse this situation by creating a map of natural resources in Africa that would help the real value of these resources be better known so that they can make better deals. However, it is not only the lack of information that causes the loss of millions of dollars every year; there is also a set of problems caused by a lack of transparency in negotiations, an unfair tax system, the abuse of transnational companies operating in developing countries and corruption or inadequate infrastructure. Increasing the circulation of money through African countries is not the way to achieve an ambitious development project in Africa, but an example of avarice.


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Swiss NGO TRIAL accuses the Multinational Argor

tl_files/aefjn-images/aa/or_congo_suisse.jpgThe facts of this case are linked to the responsibility of the Swiss company Argor-Heraeus which processed 3 tons of gold ore between 2004 and 2005. It seems that the Company had bought gold ore in Uganda and that the mineral originated from pillaging, by armed groups, in West Democratic Republic of Congo. Until 2004, a South African company had bought this gold ore but the stopped when they discovered that the gold was coming from illicit looting which is considered as war crime because it helps to fund armed groups.  

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The Congo’s oil law, an Opportunity for Democracy

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_epas/im_csr/Congos oil.jpgThe Congolese parliament is revising its oil law to regulate the new drillings, exploitation and oil revenue system. The new oil law should create a system of greater transparency regarding concessions for drilling as well as avoiding oil drills in natural reserves. Congolese civil society, headed by the NGO Global Witness, is carrying out a campaign demanding that the Congolese government submit the new legislation to a public consultation.  

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Transparency in the Extractive Sector

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_epas/im_csr/CSR July.jpg

The EU has started the process for a new Directive relating to the transparency of European companies working in the extractive mining sector. This initiative is inspired by the Dodd-Frank Act and affects European companies working abroad in the oil, gas and forestry sectors. Through this directive, all payments over 100,000 Euro made to foreign governments to obtain mining contracts have to be published to guarantee

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Natural Resources and Social Responsibility: an important step forward

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_epas/im_csr/CSR MArch 2013.jpgShell Nigeria, the largest oil and gas Company in that country, has been condemned for environmental damage and human rights abuses resulting from its activities. The District Court of The Hague has recently held that Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria was liable for damage and ordered compensation.

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