Thank you to those of you who signed our recent petition to the negotiators at the EU who have been working on legislation to stop the trade and import of conflict minerals. Because of recent events this update on progress may seem less relevant but, for now of course, the UK is still a member of the EU. Progressio supporters contributed to the thousands of total signatories that signed the statement taken to negotiators.
On the evening of the 15th June, the European institutions negotiating the regulation managed to come to a political agreement.
Unfortunately both Progressio and CIDSE feel that the deal that was struck is too weak, and it will have limited tangible impacts for populations living near mine areas.
EU member states have resisted calls from citizens such as yourself and 150 Catholic Leaders for a regulation that assured fairly shares responsibility along the entire supply chain and are now out of step with efforts to strengthen international standards with a coherent approach.
The regulation that has been agreed takes a partial approach as only the importers of metals and raw minerals will have to check their supply chains. All other companies importing the minerals within finished or semi finished products have no obligation at all.
Stefan Reinhold, CIDSE's conflict minerals campaign coordinator said, in response to what has been agreed:
The deal means that only a fraction of companies will be obliged to act responsibility, while others are left off the hook... The two year review clause will be essential because it's likely we could see limited improvements by a small set of business actors, while communities will experience continuing abuses by armed groups on a significant level due to the huge gaps left by allowing the majority of businesses to continue with a self-regulatory approach.
Despite the fact that this legislation is not everything we wanted it to be, the fact that it does have some mandatory elements is down to the hard work and lobbying efforts of civil society across the EU, so we can be proud of our efforts.
Progressio will of course continue to campaign to ensure that business practices and profit seeking do not harm or infringe upon people's human rights, and push for businesses' to go beyond ‘doing no harm’ by proactively supporting women’s rights in their area of influence, as well as by identifying and addressing gender-based violations.
Watch out for our updates and next call to action.