Friday, April 24, 2015

Carte Blanche to Exploit

Nearly 79 percent of American companies surveyed by human rights groups failed to meet a U.S. rule requiring they monitor whether their products contain minerals from war-torn Africa. The human rights groups looked at how well the companies complied with 12 core requirements.

"The conflict minerals law is an opportunity to clean up global mineral supply chains. But our analysis shows that most companies seem to prefer business-as-usual," Carly Oboth of Global Witness said.

“Companies that shed light on their supply chains help prevent a harmful mineral trade that contributes to a conflict devastating Central Africa,” said James Lynch of Amnesty International.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform required manufacturers to determine whether any tin, tungsten, tantalum or gold in their products came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The region is known for using the proceeds from mining to fund rebel groups who kill and rape civilians. The SEC rule took effect in 2014 after a U.S. appeals court upheld most of its provisions following a legal challenge by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other trade groups. To comply, companies must conduct a country of origin inquiry, file a public report for investors and carry out due diligence on their supply chains. NGOs representatives came to a conclusion that only 15 per cent of the companies tried to contact the suppliers of minerals they use in production to find out their real origins. 

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