On September 16, 59 civil society organizations from across the globe, among them Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN), published a position paper urging the European Union (EU) to pass a more sweeping conflict mineral law. This push for regulatory mechanisms to break the links between natural resources and armed groups led to the passage of the Congo Conflict Mineral law by the US as part of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. This law has shown tremendous results in stopping cash flow through illicit mineral trade to parties involved in the armed conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Since the EU started the process to pass its own conflict mineral law, AFJN has been advocating for more broad and robust supply chains, and disclosure requirements for any conflict-affected, high-risk areas and for all natural resources.
While some companies see this as prohibitive and a costly process, others started working on maintaining a clean, closed supply chain for minerals originating from DRC and neighboring countries before it became law in the US. The National Association of Manufacturers, Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable filed a lawsuit in Washington DC challenging the conflict mineral legislation’s rules issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On July 23, 2013 the court ruled in favor of the latter.
The law requires companies registered with the SEC to carry out due diligence and disclose whether or not their products contain conflict minerals from DRC and adjacent countries. Click here to read the full position paper and the press release