ANALYSIS: Conflict-free campaigning – a drive for ethical sourcing or 'green-washing'?

Fresh criticisms have emerged of the corporate campaign to eradicate minerals directly linked to conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries from global supply chains.

Claims have surfaced from more than one source – most recently in an open letter signed by a total of 70 experts, activists, academics and politicians, and a blog post on a global news outlet – that the schemes designed to remove these minerals from supply may in fact be inadvertently contributing to the problem.  Moreover, “almost no corporate stakeholder – despite their…publicised corporate social responsibility policies – has visibly engaged in eastern [DRC] to help Congolese actors comply with regulations, improve labour security, or increase decent livelihoods”, the blog, published by the Washington Post, states. Voices from an open letter The open letter, published online and addressed to governments, companies, non-governmental organisations, and other stakeholders, suggests that more work is needed to get to the heart of the issue of conflict in the African Great Lakes region. It first emphasises the general acceptance that, in the main, conflict is not caused by minerals – which is to say, the fighting is not over...


Claire Hack

September 12, 2014

15:16 GMT