Capturing investor conscience: from conflict minerals to stateless children?

Mark Brewer, Sue Turner

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

In response to an “emergency human rights situation” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the “DRC”), the US Congress implemented Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act (the “Act”) in May 2014. The Act requires companies operating in, or whose supply chains extend into, the DRC and adjoining countries to disclose the origin of conflict minerals from the DRC and adjoining countries. The dichotomy between increased social awareness by multinational corporations and heightened consciousness of consumer behaviour regarding human rights, supply chain issues, and labour standards provides an opportunity for increasing corporate social responsibility. Against these considerations, this paper will examine whether the time is ripe for exploiting the conscience of investors and governments and applying measures taken in response to the conflict minerals situation in the DRC to another human rights abuse: the plight of stateless children. Despite decades of international efforts accompanied by a proliferation of international law, child statelessness remains a persistent and growing problem. This paper will examine whether disclosure requirements or other private law initiatives could contribute to a solution.

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