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Biased Bashing of Consumer Electronics
A coalition of European NGOs supported by the European Union have banded together under the "makeITfair" moniker to examine the resource supply chain for consumer electronics and "let young people across Europe know about the labour abuses and environmental problems that are going on right now around the world – just to satisfy our demand for all the latest electronic gadgets."

Meanwhile, Ethical Corporation (moto: Not an Oxymoron) published an analysis of makeITfair’s claims. EC notes that "Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and Microsoft stand accused of fuelling armed conflict, worker exploitation and environmental destruction in...Congo...because of their demand for tin." This claim is made even though the NGO says "the most important [metals] in terms of volume are aluminium, iron, copper, nickel and zinc." EC points out that "the group did not research these, instead looking at tin and the platinum group metals, despite the fact that these ‘are used in only very small amounts....’"

Moreover, the NGO claims "demand for consumer electronics is ‘the driving force’ behind the rise in demand for the metals covered in its reports" even though, "in the case of tin, its report states that EU regulations aimed at ‘cutting lead out of solder’ have been the real driver." The NGO also "does not explain why" the consumer electronics industry’s minor use of platinum and palladium is "the driving force" behind their rise in demand when they are mostly used for catalytic converters.

Of note, the NGO "admits that 60 per cent of tin end-user demand is Asian but argues that western companies, minuscule traders in tin, should take action." Simply put, makeITfair exploits concerns for workers in developing countries as part of their ideological campaign against select consumer electronics companies.

See Ethical Corporation article "Extractive industry – NGOs undermining their own cause."

See makeITfair website

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