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On April 28, 2017, IPC filed comments with the Department of State regarding conflict minerals. In our comments, IPC called upon the Department of State to expand existing diplomatic efforts to drive peace, security, and governance in Central Africa and encouraged congress and the administration to replace Section 1502 with appropriate and effective programs to address human rights issues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
While IPC is deeply concerned by the human rights abuses in the DRC, our comments note that the measures under Section 1502 of Dodd-Frank have reportedly had questionable success in addressing the situation. We believe that attention to conflict minerals focuses on a symptom— illegal trade in conflict minerals — instead of the real problem — failed government and lack of security.
On March 27, 2017, the Department of State opened a 30-day comment period seeking input on responsible conflict mineral sourcing. This solicitation for comment follows a 45-day comment period that was provided by the SEC. In soliciting these comments, the State Department may be considering a more active role in addressing the underlying issues in the DRC, either as a supplement to or replacement for the SEC regulations under Section 1502 of Dodd-Frank.