Durbin Statement on U.S. District Court of Appeals Decision Regarding Conflict Minerals

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld most of the key provisions of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s conflict minerals regulations. The regulations would require companies that use key minerals mined in Congo to disclose such usage as part of their Securities and Exchange Commission filings, as well as what measures, if any, they are taking to ensure that they are not purchasing minerals from armed groups or military units, and that their trade is not fueling the region’s horrific sexual violence and armed conflict. Durbin was the author of the law along with former Senators Brownback and Feingold and Representative Jim McDermott, which was enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reforms in 2010. Durbin said:


“More than 5 million people have been killed in the decade long civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The deadliest conflict since World War II is fueled, in part, by the mining and trade of minerals used in everything from cell phones, to jewelry, to airplanes.”


“The law we passed was simple. Congress said that any company registered in the United States which uses any of a small list of key minerals from the DRC or its neighbors, has to disclose this in its SEC filings. This transparency will allow consumers and investors to know which companies source materials more responsibly in DRC and will hopefully persuade the industry to finally create clean supply chains out of Congo.”


“While I am disappointed the court rejected the one narrow reporting requirement included in the rule, today's decision will allow the key provisions of this law to be implemented. I urge the SEC to move forward with those upheld provisions without delay. And as a result, I hope that when consumers and investors have an easier time choosing products that are not supporting violence, we can help alleviate human suffering in central Africa.”


Eastern Congo has been plagued by civil war for over the better part of two decades. Fighting for control of the region’s vast mineral resources, the fighting has killed millions and uses violence against women as a weapon of war. Known as the “Rape Capital of the World,” an estimated 1,000 women assaulted every day – nearly 12 percent of all women in Congo. The conflict is also marred by the use of child soldiers and the bloody and brutal violence inflicted on civilian populations. Durbin has visited Goma, in eastern Congo, twice in recent years