Written by 16 h 51 min -Press release-en, Advocacy, Strengthening corporate accountability

“Blood Minerals”: a large majority of French people in favor of binding legislation

Logos partenaires_CP Minerais du sang

October 25, 2015 – On October 27, representatives from European Union governments will debate a draft regulation on the traceability of minerals from conflict areas known as “blood minerals”.  While, on this occasion, France shall present its position on this European draft for the first time, a CSA poll that appeared this October 25 shows that 83% of French people; i.e. four out of five, would like France to decide in favor of binding legislation.

Even if only 14% of those polled say they have heard the expression “blood minerals”, nearly one in two French people state that they know that “cellphones contain minerals that may be responsible for conflicts or human rights violations in the countries in which they are extracted.”*

The survey reveals the importance of traceability to consumers.  66% of them assert that having information about the consequences and conditions of extraction of the minerals might influence their choice when buying an electronic device.

87% of those asked stated that they do not trust cellphone manufacturers to provide information in a way that is transparent and inform consumers about the origin and manufacturing conditions of their products.  The results of this poll confirm that it is difficult to accept the voluntary declarations or good faith of companies that are involved in this trade.  This is all the more the case given that 89% of those surveyed would like strict legislation in France to regulate this trade and 83% support binding European legislation thereon.

The European Parliament already voted on May 20 in favor of a bold European regulation that would require due diligence; that is, control procedures for all businesses connected with this trade, including those that sell finished products such as computers, tablets, automobiles, cell phones, etc.

The French government cannot turn a deaf ear in the face of this strong position taken by the Parliament and the clear expression of opinion by the French on this subject.  It is now up to the other Member States to decide and to assume their responsibilities.

*CSA Poll conducted October 13 through October 15, 2015 of 994 persons, commissioned by AITEC, Amnesty International France, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Info-Birmanie, Secours Catholique – Caritas France and Sherpa.

Note to editors

Cellphones, as well as computers, automobiles and other everyday items contain minerals such as tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold whose trade could be used to fund armed groups responsible for serious human rights violations.

In 2013, the European Union imported nearly 240 million cellphones.  And there are approximately 6.6 grams of tin, 0.83 grams of tungsten, 0.04 grams of tantalum and 0.63 grams of gold in a standard cell phone.  That means that some 1,584 tons of tin and 151 tons of gold entered the EU just through cell phones in 2013 alone.  (Source:  Global Witness)

Press Contact: 

AITEC:  Lala Hakuma Dadci, +33 1 43 71 22 22, lala-hakuma.aitec@reseau-ipam.org

Amnesty International France :  Véronique Tardivel, 06 76 94 37 05, vtardivel@amnesty.fr

CCFD – Terre Solidaire :  Karine Appy, 06 66 12 33 02, k.appy@ccfd-terresolidaire.org

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