OECD Due Diligence Guidance

The OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas requires all actors in the supply chain to conduct due diligence aimed at ensuring that they do not contribute to human rights abuses.  The international Tin Supply Chain initiative (iTSCi) was developed as a means of enabling upstream companies to comply with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance and a Regional Certification Mechanism developed by the International Conference on the Great Lakes.

RAID’s influential report Unanswered Questions: Companies, conflict and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2004) contributed to the adoption in 2006 of the OECD Risk Awareness Tool for Multinational Enterprises in Weak Governance Zones. Subsequently, the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) has adopted the Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict Affected and High Risk Areas, with the aim of helping companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral sourcing policies. The Guidance requires all actors in the supply chain to conduct due diligence aimed at ensuring that they do not contribute to human rights abuses. Companies operating on the ground have responsibilities to the local population, even when the State lacks the capacity or the will to fulfil its own obligations.

The Due Diligence Guidance has been endorsed by the 11 member countries of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

International Tin Supply Chain initiative (iTSCi)

The international Tin Supply Chain initiative (iTSCi) is a chain-of-custody system in which minerals, through a tagging and documentation process, are tracked and traced to enable companies to provide verifiable information on the origin of the minerals linked to individual mine sites.

iTSCi was developed by the International Tin Research Institute (ITRI), a UK-based tin industry association, as a means of enabling companies involved in the minerals supply chain from mine to smelters/refiners (‘upstream’ companies) to comply with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance and regulations developed by the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGR).  ITSCi was also a response to the US ‘Dodd-Frank Act’: since August 2012 companies that file reports with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are required to determine whether minerals in their consumer products come from the Democratic Republic of Congo or surrounding countries. If so, the companies must attempt to verify that the minerals do not finance or benefit armed groups in those countries, and they must admit publicly if they are unable to do so.

In February 2012 the Congolese government introduced domestic legislation requiring all companies and individuals operating in the DRC’s tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold sectors to undertake supply chain due diligence in the line with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.

Since 2011 RAID has participated regularly in meetings of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and OECD to review and discuss implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism.

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