This group of 58 European and global non-governmental organizations calls on the European Commission to adopt legislation requiring European business entities to conduct supply chain due diligence in order to ensure that they do not contribute to conflict financing or human rights abuses in the production and trade in natural resources. Such legislation should, at a minimum, meet international standards endorsed by the United Nations and by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and reflect principles contained within the European Union's own Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.
Today, the Enough Project along with the Responsible Sourcing Network released a report,"Expectations for Companies' Conflict Minerals Reporting", that articulates key reporting components that are important to socially responsible investors and rights groups who have been advocates for a clean minerals trade. Read More »
As companies prepare their first required reports on conflict mineral use to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Responsible Sourcing Network and the Enough Project released a report that sets expectations for the contents of the inaugural reports required by Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
By Darren Fenwick and Patricia Jurewicz | Sep 5, 2013
Investors and Human Rights Advocates Set Expectations for SEC Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Reports
As companies prepare their first required reports on conflict mineral use to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, key investors and human rights groups, have released a paper that sets expectations for the contents of the inaugural reports required by Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
"Expectations for Companies’ Conflict Minerals Reporting" describes the content that sustainable and responsible investors and human rights advocates expect to see in a company’s Specialized Disclosure Form and/or Conflict Minerals Report. These disclosures will include information on the use of minerals sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or neighboring countries, where egregious human rights abuses linked to the mining industry have plagued the region for 15 years.
Patricia Jurewicz, Director of Responsible Sourcing Network and co-author of the paper, states:
“Investors would like to see their companies establish baselines the first year and specify the steps they are taking so we can then measure improvements in transparency and accountability reporting over time. Our paper provides a set of specific indicators that can be tracked to allow for comparability between annual reports.”
Both Responsible Sourcing Network and the Enough Project, authoring organizations of the paper, engaged with the SEC throughout the process of defining the reporting requirements for section 1502, which began in 2010.
Darren Fenwick, Senior Government Affairs Manager at the Enough Project and co-author of the paper states:
“Advocates for a clean minerals trade wish to understand how issuers, who are connected to the Congo through mineral sourcing, are addressing their connection to the conflict that has resulted in millions of deaths. Additionally, companies whose reports show compliance benefit from positive public sentiment and increased brand recognition.”
The paper details the expectations for companies’ successful reporting, including:
Constructing key elements of a vigorous company conflict minerals policy and steps for implementing a program
Metrics that companies should track to effectively determine their actions to accurately assess the origin of their minerals
Commitment to only using minerals from smelters that have been audited as conflict-free by a credible program such as the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative as they become available; and
Building a clean minerals trade by 1) Committing to sourcing conflict-free minerals from Congo and the surrounding region; and 2) Implementing OECD due diligence processes to determine if an issuers’ minerals are contributing to the conflict.
Stakeholders also encourage companies to take compliance beyond the 1502 reporting requirements to help create a peaceful and secure Congo by participating in diplomatic efforts and contributing to alternative livelihood projects in the region.
Responsible Sourcing Network (www.sourcingnetwork.org), a project of the nonprofit organization As You Sow (www.asyousow.org), is dedicated to ending human rights abuses and forced labor associated with the raw materials found in products we use every day. RSN builds responsible supply chain coalitions of diverse stakeholders to leverage their influence in the areas of conflict minerals from the Congo and forced labor in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan.
Enough Project (www.enoughproject.org) is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change.
On April 25, Oregon’s One Million Bones, or OMB, group hosted an installation at Portland State University of nearly 9,500 clay bones to remember victims of past genocides and support genocide prevention. Read More »
Darfur is suffering its worst humanitarian crisis in years. Since the beginning of 2013, over 200,000 people have been displaced by what the government of Sudan dismisses as “inter-communal” violence. Ten years after the first reports of genocide trickled out of Darfur, an eerie echo of the past is sweeping across the region. The government of Sudan would like the world to believe that Darfur is plagued by intractable inter-tribal hatreds that inevitably lead to violent destabilizing conflict. But in a new report, “Darfur's Gold Rush: State-Sponsored Atrocities 10 Years After the Genocide,” Enough Project Senior Advisor Omer Ismail and I challenge that descriptive framework. Our research shows that government-armed Abbala militias’ recent power play to displace the Beni Hussein people and thereby gain control North Darfur’s gold mines is not the product of inter-tribal rivalries. Instead, the Abbala offensive must be understood as a continuation of Khartoum’s campaign of state-sponsored atrocity and plunder in the region. Read More »
The conflict-free movement is gaining momentum worldwide, with the newest development happening in Canada. In March 2013, New Democrat Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar introduced a comprehensive conflict-free mineral bill to the Canadian Parliament. Bill C-486 requires companies to regularly report how they obtain their supply of minerals such as gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum from Central Africa, particularly Congo. Read More »