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Maryland Becomes the Second State to Pass Legislation on Congo Conflict Minerals

May 25th, 2012

The state of Maryland has taken a definitive step toward curtailing the use and trade of conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). On May 2, Governor Martin O’Malley signed the Maryland State Procurement and Congo Conflict Minerals Bill into law. Maryland is now the second state to adopt such legislation, following California’s example in September 2011. A similar bill is under consideration in Massachusetts.

Under the Maryland State Procurement and Congo Conflict law, the State of Maryland is prohibited from doing business with companies that do not comply with federal disclosure requirements on conflict minerals. Section 1502 of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 is a disclosure requirement that calls on companies to determine whether their products contain conflict minerals by carrying out supply chain due diligence and to report this to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Background: Illicit trade in conflict minerals has fueled terrible human rights abuses and promoted insecurity in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Some of the minerals are used to make electronic devices such as computers, laptops, cell phones, and other electronic portable players.

Thank you to Maryland, and the many voices from the faith community and the Congolese diaspora that made this happen!

 

 

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