In politically unstable areas, the minerals trade can be used to finance armed groups, fuel forced labour and other human rights abuses, and support corruption and money laundering.
These so-called 'conflict minerals' such as tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold, also referred to as 3TG, can be used in everyday products such as mobile phones and cars or in jewellery.
It is difficult for consumers to know if a product they have bought is funding violence, human rights abuses or other crimes overseas.
The countries or areas considered to be conflict-affected or high-risk are those:
- Whose natural resources include minerals which are in high demand, either locally, regionally of globally.
- Are either suffering from armed-conflict, such as civil war, a state of fragile post-conflict, or witnessing weak or non-existing governance and systematic violations of international law, including human rights abuses.
Source: European Commission