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Industry Lobbyists Vs. Congo

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Industry Lobbyists Vs. Congo

Posted by Chloe Christman on March 15, 2012

Industry Lobbyists Vs. Congo

We’ve learned that the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, after stalling for over a year, intends to release weak conflict minerals regulations essentially written by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers.

Raise Hope for Congo activists are not letting them off the hook that easily.

Yesterday, Enough’s Raise Hope for Congo campaign invited activists to call SEC Commissioners Walter and Paredes and demand that the SEC stand up for human rights by issuing strong regulations under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Activists around the country have been making the calls and reporting back. One activist from Boston who called Commissioner Walter’s office told us, “I just called and talked with someone who said she had been taking calls all day. I told her my concern about the conflict minerals rules and urged that the SEC move ahead as quickly as possible with strong reporting rules.”

In their calls, people are bringing up three important points: There should be no delay in the regulations, and the SEC rules should include clear reporting requirements and strong due diligence standards.

SEC commissioners are getting the message. Consumers want to know if their products contain minerals that are fueling violence and instability in eastern Congo. And more importantly, communities in eastern Congo should not continue to suffer because U.S. corporate interests are opposed to transparency and accountability.

The SEC has a chance to help legitimize an illicit minerals trade that is fueling violence, but they appear to be caving to corporate pressure at the expense of human rights.

It’s not too late to make the call. Dial 1-888-542-4146 to hear talking points one more time before automatically being connected to Commissioner Paredes’ office.