Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia has promised to place greater scrutiny on the origin of its raw materials, after accusations that their phones help fund the war in Congo. According to online financial publication Taloussanomat, experts in Finland and the US suspect Nokia of using tin from mines which support Congolese rebel groups in the African country’s ongoing civil war.
FinnWatch, which investigates the ethics of corporate organisations and tracks the subcontracting chains of the electronics industry, says Nokia circuit boards are made up of tin from smelters in eastern Congo. Two years ago, Danish organisation DanWatch revealed that cobalt from Congo’s conflict areas was used in Nokia phones. Suspicions were also raised about Samsung, LG and Motorola handsets.
Nokia claims that it has already asked suppliers to ensure that raw materials do not originate from conflict zones, but the company has vowed to keep a closer eye on activities in the future. The mobile phone giant has, however, continued to refuse a full public disclosure of its subcontracting chain.
New legislation was passed in the US last week that requires all companies trading on the New York Stock Exchange to disclose whether their raw materials come from Congo. According to YLE, the internal investigation at Nokia is related to some extent to these changes in law.