In January, Swedwatch hosted a webinar exploring challenges and opportunities for contracting authorities within the EU to include social criteria to support responsible sourcing of minerals in ICT supply chains.

There are more than 60 metals in a typical smartphone. They are sourced all over the world and in many places, their extraction is associated with severe human rights impacts, including child labour, armed conflicts, pollution and hazardous working conditions.

Through an example presented by Region Stockholm and a panel discussion which included experts from City of Stavanger and Barcelona City council, the webinar participants learned how social clauses addressing minerals in purchasing contracts can be phrased and monitored, based on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

Key challenges were also raised, such as the low transparency and traceability in mineral supply chains which leaves contracting authorities dependent on industry standards and models for compliance. Participants learned about the benefits and limitations of the Responsible Mineral Initiative’s assurance programme which assesses human rights due diligence systems of smelters and refiners. Belgian-based NGO Catapa described the most prominent human rights impacts documented in the mining sector.

You can view the presentations and panel discussion here:

Risks and impacts linked to mineral extraction - Kim Claes, Catapa

Social criteria in public contracts to address responsible sourcing of minerals in ICT supply chains - Kathleen McCaughey, Manager Sustainable Supply Chains, Stockholm Region

Models of human rights due diligence assurance programme in mineral supply chains - Leah Butler, Vice President, Responsible Business Alliance

Panel discussion on challenges and opportunities in applying social criteria relating to responsible sourcing of minerals - moderated by Josefine Hintz, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability with Carla Canal Rosich, International relations officer, Barcelona City Council, Elin Severholt, Sustainability advisor, City of Stavanger and Kathleen McCaughey, Manager Sustainable Supply Chains, Stockholm Region.

The webinar was funded by the European Union and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). It was part of Make ICT Fair, an EU-wide project aiming to improve the lives of workers and communities affected along the supply chains of ICT.

  • Focus Areas: Public procurement
  • Industry: ICT
  • Publication: Article
  • Region: Asia

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Communications Advisor

Tom Sullivan
Communications Advisor