30th September 2013
Last week, Forbes.com published a piece by Tim Worstall in which he argued against the introduction of legally binding measures in the EU to tackle conflict minerals. The piece, titled ‘Global Witness’ Latest Silly Suggestion on Conflict Minerals’ argued for a voluntary industry-led scheme and suggested that the cost to business of implementing legally binding measures will be too onerous. Sadly, Forbes.com didn’t want to publish a separate article to present a different opinion to this one-sided piece. As such, we are publishing our full response below.
We need an informed debate to break the links between natural resources and conflict, not unhelpful rhetoric.
Right now, some of the world’s most brutal conflicts and human rights abuses are being funded by internationally-traded minerals and gems that enter the European market. Armed groups and violent security forces profit from the control of mines and trading routes in places like eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Colombia, Burma, Zimbabwe and Central African Republic (CAR). Companies that list on our global markets buy these resources, often without regard for whether they are funding harm. Continue Reading →