Yesterday evening, the European Parliament's Development committee called for binding rules on trade in conflict minerals. Such rules are urgently needed in order to ensure that mineral purchases made by European corporations are not financing conflict or human rights violations.
The committee followed the recommendations made by Green MEP Judith Sargentini, who demands that all companies using tin, tungsten, tantalum or gold in their products determine whether minerals purchased are funding abusive armed groups elsewhere in the world.
Green MEP Judith Sargentini said:
“We need real legislation, not a voluntary system that lets European companies off the hook. The proposal by the European Commission is mere window-dressing.”
The proposal made by the European Commission was heavily lobbied by both Business Europe and the automotive industry, who succeeded in watering down the proposal substantially.
“These companies seem to forget about the well-being of people in countries like DRC and Colombia. We need binding rules for all companies that use these minerals. Only then will we be able to guarantee European consumers that they do not contribute to conflict or human rights abuses by buying phones and tablets”.