Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said robust regulations must be put in place to govern the extraction of minerals from conflict zones around the world.
Ms Anderson said;
“It is a sad reality that minerals from conflict-affected regions across the world are being exploited.
“In some cases the export of these minerals is being used by armed groups to finance continuing violence and human rights abuses.
“It is vitally important that business and industry uses responsibly-sourced minerals from conflict areas, particularly as the European Union is one of the biggest markets for such minerals.
“The proposals put forward by the European Commission governing the importation of minerals from conflict areas were not ambitious enough.
“I voted in favour of progressive amendments for an obligatory system of due-diligence that would apply to all levels of the supply chain where minerals from conflict areas are involved.
“The international community has a role to play in ensuring that all materials from conflict areas are responsibly sourced.”