In the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring states in particular, the ongoing armed conflict is financed by the mining of certain natural resources. In these locations, militia commit the most grievous human rights violations in their efforts to control the mines and sell the extracted “conflict minerals” (predominantly gold, tantalum, tungsten, and tin – “3TG minerals”) across the globe.
In the USA, a number of companies are obliged by law to issue reports indicating whether and to what extent 3TG minerals have been procured from the conflict region. The aim of this is to ensure that, in future, only conflict-free 3TG minerals are bought and traded. In particular, this is to be achieved by means of a system of certified smelting. The respective EU Conflict Minerals Directive also stipulates a reporting and certification obligation for smelting operations and refineries and large importers of raw materials.
SICK is affected neither by the US nor the EU reporting obligation. Nevertheless, SICK respects the underlying objective of this rule – to prevent the financing of militant groups who commit human rights violations – and pledges its commitment to achieving this objective. SICK is working towards only using conflict-free 3TG minerals in its own products and, within this context, explicitly endorses the establishment of the Conflict-Free Smelter Program of the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI).