Aid charity slams European Union on deadly trade

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Aid group critical of EU over new legislation 

17th June 2016 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A Scottish aid charity has slammed a European Union decision to water down plans banning "blood" minerals following a new deal to regulate the trade.

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) said trade in commodities such as tin, tantalum, tungsten, coltan and gold provides funding for some of the world’s most brutal conflicts directly affecting people in a number of countries where the charity works.

While the deal aims to ensure that minerals entering the EU have been sourced responsibly, SCIAF and others highlight that the regulation does not now apply to the majority of EU companies in the market. 

The watering down of the deal demonstrates that once again corporate power has been put before human rights

Only businesses that import raw materials will be checked, meaning products that contain conflict minerals as a component will enter the EU market unchecked. 

The deal promises a review of the effectiveness of the law within one year. 

In 2015, over 700 SCIAF supporters wrote to MEPs demanding an end to the trade in conflict minerals.

SCIAF director Alistair Dutton said: “The EU has completely failed to protect communities from this deadly trade. The watering down of the deal demonstrates that once again corporate power has been put before human rights and the wellbeing of ordinary people.

“SCIAF constantly sees the horror caused by unregulated mining businesses in countries like Colombia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Dutton added that the EU needs to clamp down on companies using these minerals in any shape or form, either as raw materials or in finished products. 

“Only in this way can we prevent human rights violations and atrocities that break communities apart and destroy innocent peoples’ lives,” he said.

“This half-hearted measure must be followed up in a year’s time with comprehensive deal that puts human lives before private profit.”