Every year, millions of Euro worth of minerals flow into the EU from some of the poorest places on earth. This trade in resources – such as gold, diamonds, tantalum, tin, copper and coal – continues to perpetuate a cycle of conflict and human rights abuses in many fragile areas of the world. These resources enter global supply chains and end up in products that we use every day, including our laptops and mobile phones.
The EU has no legislation in place to ensure that companies source their minerals responsibly, and lags behind global efforts – including mandatory requirements endorsed by the US and twelve African countries. This situation is unacceptable.
A landmark vote on a new draft regulation on European conflict minerals is due on May 20th. As it stands, the regulation would fail to have a meaningful impact. Its provisions are entirely voluntary, include meagre coverage of only four minerals, and would only apply to a paltry 0.05 per cent of European companies involved in the trade.
This is why CORE has joined with 156 other campaigning organisations to call for MEPs to vote for additional binding rules to create a law that:
- Requires all companies bringing minerals into the EU – whether in their raw form or contained in products – to carry out supply chain due diligence and publicly report in line with international standards.
- Is flexible enough to cover, in the future, other resources that may be linked to conflict, human rights abuses and corruption.
The full letter is available here. For more information, please see Global Witness’ latest briefing on the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade’s report on the proposed conflict minerals regulation.