Human Rights Groups Turning Up the Heat on Conflict Minerals

Human Rights Groups Turning Up the Heat on Conflict Minerals

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Cutting Militias Off From Gold and Mineral Mines in Congo #conflictminerals @sourceintel
Friday, December 19, 2014 - 9:30am

CONTENT: Article

The Dodd Frank Section 1502 conflict minerals regulation and human rights organizations have “dramatically shrunk,” the market for untraceable 3T conflict minerals, according to a recent article by the LA Times, How to Cut Militias off From Gold and Mineral Mines in Congo.” Human rights organizations and groups have been turning up the heat on manufacturers of electronics and electronic parts that use tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold in their supply chain. According to Enough Project, “67% of tin, tantalum and tungsten mines in Congo are no longer in the control of armed militias.”

However, the article published by LA Times addresses that much of the violence in the Congo, occurs at the gold mining sites:       

“They're either confiscating miners' gold at gunpoint, or forcing miners to pay them bribes to let them keep mining.”

According to the Human Rights Watch, many rebel groups and Congolese army commanders including the “FDLR (the genocidal Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda), the loosely organized armed group known as Raia Mutomboki, and Mai Mai Sheka, a militia group run by Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka,” have played a great role in contributing to the violence in Congo. The article highlights how the World Gold Council has been pushing for retailers to prevent unethical gold in their supply chain.

“In response, the World Gold Council has started a gold industry audit. And Congo and other governments in the Great Lakes area of Africa are working on a conflict-free certification process for mines and exporters.”

Pressure is now on leading jewelry retailers to not abandon Congo, but work with their suppliers to prevent the transfer of gold to armed groups. USAID is one of many international aid projects underway that jewelry retailers can support to “demilitarize these mines, encourage new investment and put miners to work.” Tiffany and Co. and Signet Jewelers, two jewelry companies, are already taking the lead on ethical sourcing according to the Enough Project.

Companies across multiple industries have realized the strategic benefits of a public commitment to conflict free. An Insightful Look at 2014 Conflict Minerals Efforts: Benefits of Tracing Your Supply Chain, is the most recent Conflict Minerals E-Book that has guided companies to conflict minerals compliance and provided them with a case study-based insight for conflict minerals compliance in 2015. The E-Book covers topics on Overcoming Supplier Resistance, Conflict Minerals Compliance Programs Implementation: An Analysis of 4 Prevailing Approaches, Moving Beyond Supplier Provided Information: A Guide To Smelter Verification, and the 2015 Guide to a Successful Conflict Minerals Program. If interested, click here for a complimentary download of the E-Book: An Insightful Look at 2014 Conflict Minerals Efforts, Benefits of Tracing Your Supply Chain.