Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

From sustainability to conflict minerals: the creeping codification of non-financial disclosure

posted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by Sandeep Gopalan
It is an unfortunate reality that violent conflicts in resource rich regions are often funded by trade in precious metals and minerals. Armed groups seek to control lucrative trade in these commodities in order to support their campaigns whilst engaging in human rights abuses ranging from rapes to killings. For instance, the diamond trade has been linked to conflicts in a number of countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Angola, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Sierra Leone. More broadly, the extractives trade has an unfortunate record of human rights abuses and there are repeatedly documented instances of child labour, sexual violence, environmental degradation, displacement of people, and other abuses in communities which ought to have profited from the natural resources located there. Some of the worst excesses involving minerals have been documented by the UN in the DRC—home to the deadliest conflict since World War II with over 5.5 million deaths—where armed groups fund their activities by controlling mines and transport routes. This blood taint is not confined to far-flung regions in Africa and South America—‘conflict minerals’ find their way to local and international markets where smelters and refiners transform those minerals into metals. In turn, these metals are subsequently processed downstream of the supply chain into components for a vast number of end products including cars, electronics, mobile phones, packaging, construction, aeronautics, and jewellery.


Title of book

Corporate governance codes for the 21st century: international perspectives and critical analyses

Chapter number



169 - 188



Place of publication

Cham, Switzerland





Publication classification

B1 Book chapter; B Book chapter

Copyright notice

2017, Springer




J du plessis, C Low

Usage metrics

    Research Publications