Blood in the Mobile raises much-needed awareness about the issue of conflict minerals. Now YOU can help the message reach those in power to make a change.
Put pressure on your local MP to encourage the UK to take a lead on the issue of conflict minerals.
Don’t know what to say? Try basing your letter on the below. Remember, your message will have far more impact if you use your own wording so please avoid a copy-and-paste.
I’m writing because I’ve just watched Frank Poulson’s film Blood in the Mobile and am appalled to learn about the link between minerals used in my own mobile phone and ongoing conflict and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The trade in what have come to be known as ‘conflict minerals’, that is tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, has been fuelling human rights abuses and promoting insecurity in eastern (DRC) for over a decade. Over 5 million people have died as a result of the conflict in DRC.
I don’t think this is right. While it’s an inescapable reality that we’re all going to keep using our mobiles and other technologies now part of our everyday lives that contain Congolese minerals, this shouldn’t be at the cost of fuelling a conflict. Companies that use these minerals in their manufacturing processes must ensure that in doing so, they are doing no harm.
I understand that since the film was made supply chain due diligence standards for companies sourcing minerals from areas like eastern DRC have been developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that these standards are currently voluntary.
I would like the UK government to take a lead on this issue and ensure that European companies sourcing these important minerals from the DRC do so in a responsible way. Specifically, I’d like to see our government push for the introduction of legislation at European level that requires companies to implement the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.
I would like to see this issue raised in the UK parliament and would be grateful if you could communicate my concerns, as my elected representative, to the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, ideally at the next FCO Oral Questions. I would also be grateful to know what discussions our government has recently had with the European Commission about the introduction of this kind of legislation.