Following the first negotiations between the European Parliament, the Commission and the 28 national governments represented in the Council on a draft 'conflict minerals' law, David Martin and his S&D colleagues pushed for a mandatory system but faced strong opposition from the Council, who favour a voluntary arrangement.
The extraction and trade of minerals from conflict regions throughout the world is fuelling wars and causing unspeakable suffering.
Scottish Labour MEP David Martin, spokesperson on international trade for the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament is pushing for a mandatory regulation of thorough supply chain checks to establish if the mineral components used widely for electronic goods are being sourced responsibly.
"The position of the European Parliament is clear. We want fair and responsible trade. This is why we defend a mandatory regulation that will be applied not only to raw materials, but also to manufactured products which we consume in Europe.
“Consumers should be able to buy products safe in the knowledge that they are not fuelling conflict, slavery or child exploitation.
“Natural resources have been a boon for some countries, but a curse for Africa. We must take this opportunity to stop the exploitation of workers and the widespread human rights abuses which are caused by conflict minerals.
"Voluntary schemes have not worked and we urge national governments to take their responsibilities seriously and put into practice the EU's commitment to conflict-free minerals."
"We have an opportunity with this draft law to correct the mistakes of the past and introduce an effective mandatory system which will make a real difference on the ground.”