Minerals are vital for many cutting edge technologies but often they leave a legacy of conflict and slavery. Responsible sourcing and human rights must be placed at the heart of modern business ethics, write Nele Meyer and Lucy Graham.
The European Commission should start listening to its citizens and come out with concrete plans to enhance corporate accountability, at home and abroad, urge Jerome Chaplier, Urs Rybi and Sandra Cossart.
Around the world, multinational companies dealing with natural resources are fighting a global battle to access, control and extract precious stones, oil, gas, minerals and even plants, writes Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga.
In an open letter to the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and the 28 member states, some 126 NGOs call for tighter regulation of conflict minerals, including Amnesty International and Global Witness.
It is a sobering fact that your smart phone might contain conflict minerals. Even more so that EU member states are in the process of scaling back proposals that can help stop this, writes Léonard Santedi.
Church leaders call on the EU to put an end to conflict minerals in consumer products, because people need assurances as to the morality of our tradng systems, write Bishop Ambongo and Archibishop Léonard.
We ask European Parliamentarians and European governments to meet the expectations of EU consumers who want assurances that the resources in their mobile phones, computers or cars are not linked to human right violations and conflicts, writes Mgr François-Xavier Maroy Rusengo.
If the European Commission wants to help cool the 40% of inter-state conflicts linked to natural resources, it needs to propose legislation ensuring that European consumers can buy conflict-free goods, says Patrick Alley.
Much attention has been paid over recent months to ways of cutting links between natural resources and the fuelling of unlawful armed conflict, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, writes Terry Heymann. But policies to address the issue might also have unintended consequences, he warns.