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Bad connections

December 26, 2008


Thanks to David Barouski´s extremely detailed presentation for Congo Week last October, I have discovered a report DanWatch released last June. The study shows that “mobile phone batteries from Nokia, LG, Motorola and Samsung all contain cobalt from DR Congo”, and it is “also likely to be the case with mobile phone batteries from Sony Ericsson”. Although it focuses on Katanga province, the following recommendations given in the report could perfectly be applicable for cassiterite trade in North Kivu:

To mobile phone producers on metals in general

-Officially recognise your corporate responsibility for the whole value chain by developing, implementing and disclosing a systematic policy on the metals used in mobile phones.

-Increase transparency and enhance knowledge about the origin of metals used in mobile phones. Map your supply chains and identify major risks related to legality, human rights and environmental issues. Officially, condemn the use of metals extracted illegally, unsustainably or which are compromising human rights.

-Identify major risk-countries and take concrete actions within your industry, and in collaboration with other industries and public authorities address issues in those particular countries.

-For additional guidance, please refer to recommendations from the European MakeITFair Project.

To mobile phone producers on metals from DR Congo

-Investigate supply chain linkages to DR Congo, and assess positive and negative impacts in the country. Find out how to harness the positive influence and minimise negative impacts.

-Offer financial support to rebuild institutional capacity in the mining sector in DR Congo and combat corruption and illegal exports of metals.

To consumers

-When you buy your next phone ask questions about the metals inside, including where they come from and the conditions in which they were mined.

-Contact mobile phone producers and raise concerns about their products.

-Stay informed via

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