The Gonzaga Journal of International Law is a practice-oriented online international law journal that is student edited by law review standards. The journal includes articles, essays, comments, and notes from practicing attorneys, law professors, law students, business professionals, and government officials. This article was written by Maheta M. Molango, who is an Associate Attorney at Baker & McKenzie law firm in New York City.
Molango discusses the success of the Kimberly Process in 2002, in which countries with participating governments have the duty to adopt legislation to enforce the Kimberly Process in order to set up import/export control mechanisms, relative to conflict diamonds. She also refers to various legal alternatives that are available in order to help regulate the trade of coltan to improve the life of the Congolese population.
The OECD Guidelines, the Congolese Mining code, the Lutundula Commission, the Ministerial Commission on the Review of Mining Contracts and litigation under the Alien Tort Statute are discussed to emphasize legal initiatives to pressure actors involved in the conflict mineral trade including pressuring of governments to protect populations against human rights abuses by businesses.
The focus of this article is to question the efficacy of legal initiaves taken, and to try to shift human rights laws to hold companies accountable for their involvement in human rights abuses. For anyone interested in the legal battle against human rights abuses in the Congo-this article provides insight to the steps we need to take in legislation.