Labour MEPS lead the call for EU action on conflict minerals

Labour MEPs joined with their colleagues in the Socialists & Democrats group today and voted for a mandatory EU system to break the link between armed conflict and the minerals trade.

If ratified at Trilogue negotiations, the EU will join the US and China in having a mandatory scheme in place which will require companies to make reasonable checks to ensure the step behind them in the supply chain can verify where the product came from.

Voluntary rules have been in place for five years but more than 80 per cent of companies have chosen not to publish any information on their supply chain due diligence.

The new mandatory rules, which will affect up to 400 EU listed companies, will require due diligence by all the key actors in the trade of minerals right across the supply chain.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Theresa Griffin, Labour MEP for the North West and member of the Parliament’s Industry committee, has welcomed today’s result saying:

“Natural resources can be a blessing for countries but they have also proved to be a curse for Africa. Today’s vote is an opportunity to stop the exploitation of workers in mines and the widespread human rights abuses which are caused by conflict minerals.

“Due diligence needs to apply at every step along the way, from the mine to the consumer.

“I am delighted that the Socialist & Democrats group’s proposals were adopted in today’s vote on the report. Sadly, the Tory MEPs choose not to support effective action on blood minerals.

“No longer can businesses simply say “We don’t know”, all key actors involved in the supply chain will have to make themselves aware of where their minerals come from and work together to prevent further abuse”.