More than 50 investor groups released a statement expressing their disagreement with the lawsuit filed against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Business Roundtable. The lawsuit is in regards to the section of the Dodd-Frank act that requires companies to disclose whether they use minerals from the Republic of Congo.
According to The Wall Street Journal, companies must file a report to the SEC by May 2014 to report if any of their products use tin, gold, tantalum, or tungsten that comes from the Congo area. These raw materials are considered “conflict minerals” because they are thought to help fund armed groups that are involved in labor laws and human rights issues.
The letter from these investor groups states, “Given that the long-standing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has claimed more than five million lives and contributed to egregious human rights abuses such as rape, child soldiers, and slave labor, we believe companies must disclose their use of conflict minerals.” It goes on to say that, “as investors and fiduciaries with a long-term view of capital appreciation that must meet the interests of multiple generations of beneficiaries, we believe it is important to protect investors through improved disclosure and reporting on social risk factors such as labor practices and human rights.’