Press Release: Make ICT Fair Breakfast at the European Parliament

Daniela Marques Branco | Mining, Mining, Mining, Press, Press, Press

Press Release: Make ICT Fair Breakfast at the European Parliament

Raising Awareness of Human Rights Violations in ICT Supply Chains

On the morning of the 1st October, the Make ICT Fair consortium held a breakfast event at the European Parliament in Brussels attended by around thirty participants. The event was hosted by Austrian MEP Monika Vana of the Greens/EFA and Swedish MEP Abir Al-Sahlani of Renew Europe in the Members Salon of the Parliament. The breakfast was organised to raise awareness of sustainability and human rights abuses in the supply chain of information communication technology (ICT) products, as well as facilitate the discussion on the role of MEPs in promoting EU policies on human rights, European development banks and public procurement.

MEP Abir Al-Sahlani said: “Our societies have benefited greatly from globalization. But it is important to raise awareness of human rights risks associated with the production of some of the most popular products that many of us enjoy – like smartphones. People should never be in danger when doing their jobs.”

The breakfast began with a video testimonial addressed to MEPs from Pak Kin Wan, a worker in the Labour Education and Service Network in Hong Kong, and a speech by Anna Shahnazaryan who works in the Armenian Environmental Front in Armenia and had experienced first-hand the violations to human rights.  Following this, speakers from SETEM, Bankwatch and Südwind gave talks on the priority EU areas of action: business and human rights, European development banks and public procurement. 

“The situation of workers in ICT supply chains demands our immediate attention,” said MEP Monika Vana. “Human rights and labour rights are violated every day, alongside severely negative impacts on the environment in many countries. We as politicians have a responsibility and the possibility to act efficiently. It is us who can help to ensure that a legal framework is in place, that guides companies and financial institutions to carry out human rights due diligence before business or financial decisions are taken. We can also make sure that the European Parliament applies the same level of scrutiny towards its own ICT procurement.”

Make ICT Fair participant organisations presented the MEPs with a list of case studies conducted by members of the consortium, as well as a briefing document outlining the key actions MEPs can take to ensure the implementation of fair and sustainable EU policies on the priority areas. 

Participants could upload photos and footage using the hashtag #MakeICTFair and #fairelectronics on social media. 

For more information contact the Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Sergi Corbalán, at corbalan@fairtrade-advocacy.org.  

Notes

Make ICT Fair is an EU-wide project that aims to improve the lives of workers and communities affected by the production of ICT devices such as smartphones and laptops. We target EU citizens, public procurers, development banks, decision-makers, and companies to improve their purchasing practices and to align policies. The partners: SETEM Catalunya, CATAPA, ICLEI, the University of Edinburgh, Le Monde Diplomatique, People & Planet, CEE Bankwatch, Swedwatch, Electronics Watch, Towards Sustainability Association, and Südwind.

DocuLatino 2019

Daniela Marques Branco | Uncategorized, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

DocuLatino Film Festival – Tracing the ICT supply chain

For the 11th year in a row Catapa organises the Doculatino Filmfestival in Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels and Leuven. Within the Make ICT fair European campaign, whose goal is to achieve a more transparent and fair ICT supply chain, this year we will broaden our focus from extractivism and look at the problems of the global ICT supply chain. Through 3 documentary screenings we will show you the path your laptop, smartphone or tablet follow from the extraction of its components to the dumping of the devices, and the related issues.

Documentaries:

1. Minga, by Damien Charles and Pauline Dutron
The journey starts in Latin America, one of the main victims of raw materials extraction. Today for the production of a smartphone more than 60 elements are needed and the vast majority are obtained by mining. As the documentary shows, the extraction industry has huge consequences on local communities and on the environment.

© Minga - Voices of resistance 2019

2. Death by design, by Sue Williams
In Death by Design, we will fly to the other part of the world to Asia (China, Vietnam, South-Korea, etc) where underpaid workers in inhumane working conditions are producing electronic devices thanks to the different metals extracted in Latin America.

© 2019 Death by Design

3. E-waste tragedy, by Cosima Dannoritzer
Have you ever thought about where your old smartphone ends up after you don’t use it anymore? We will discover the often forgotten part of the supply chain: the electronic waste. Huge amount of e-waste is dumped every day in Africa and Asia, shipped mostly from Western Countries. This documentary shows the reality of what people living in those waste dumps have to face every day.

© The E-Waste Tragedy

After each documentary screening, a group discussion will be held and introduced by an expert in the field. All three documentaries will be screened in four different cities of Belgium, each of them in a different day following the order above.

Click in each city to check more information about the location and time!

Antwerp – 21, 22, 23 of October

Ghent – 6, 20, 27 of November

Brussels – 13, 14, 15 of November

Leuven – 26, 27, 28 of November

The Summer Camp Weekend 2019

Daniela Marques Branco | Catapa in the spotlight, Catapa in the spotlight, Catapa in the spotlight, Catapistas, Catapistas, Catapistas

The Summer Camp Weekend 2019

In the first weekend of September, we gathered together for our traditional Summer Camp weekend with a lot of our Catapistas to discuss about our organization and to spend a great time together! Despite the rain, we camped in tents outdoors, we managed a great BBQ and we even finished Saturday night with a lesson on Irish traditional dancing.

We started Friday evening with a very interesting presentation about a research on the ICT supply chain of metals from Bolivia. The research was conducted by Catapistas Alberto and Silke, who travelled to Bolivia to find, first-hand, the ICT supply chain of metals starting from the origins: the mines. They shared some of their discoveries and experiences with us and they are working on a report about it.

Saturday was full of great activities. We started the morning with a traditional indigenous ritual! The ritual was shown to Charlotte during the “Intercambio” in Iquitos, Peru, where everyone could share what they are thankful for and try a traditional drink called “Masato”. Charlotte was able to make us feel part of this event through this great ritual. After this great exercise, she was very happy to share with the rest about the experience in Peru. During the “Intercambio”, two representatives of each of our partner organizations in Latin America, together with Charlotte and our GECOs, met in Peru to exchange their experiences and the realities about mining in their countries.

After a great lunch outdoors (because we were lucky to get some sunshine!) we all sat together for another brainstorm about the future of CATAPA as a socio-cultural organization. We discussed about the Mission and Vision and other future activities. This proposal is getting ready to be presented towards the end of the year.

To end the day we had time to relax with a great BBQ which ended with an improvised Irish dance class from Catapista Emily!

On Sunday, after a very nice breakfast, we started with a great presentation about one of our projects, Fair ICT Flanders. We discussed about the following action and activities that our Catapistas can support within this project.

To finish up, we had a workshop about volunteer management. Since CATAPA is a volunteer organization, we discussed the different roles volunteers have, how to support them, how to get more volunteers and how to keep them motivated and engaged as a Catapista.  We had a brainstorm exercise about improvements and new initiatives that we could bring to our organization. This session will be continued during future events since for us it is very important to gather quality input from our volunteers to keep improving the management of the very essence of CATAPA!

The Summer Camp weekend ended with a lunch all together and a lot of ideas and thoughts for the next meetings. For sure we are all waiting for the next gathering… the Changemakers Weekend!!

New report: A just(ice) transition is a post-extractive transition

Daniela Marques Branco | Mining, News, Publications, Report

War on Want and London Mining Network, supported by the Yes to Life, No to Mining network, have launched a new report: Post-Extractivist_Transition

A just(ice) transition is a post-extractive transition

Centering the extractive frontier in climate justice

While the global majority disproportionately suffer the impacts of the climate crisis and the extractivist model, the Global North’s legacy of colonialism, the excess of the world’s wealthiest, and the power of large corporations are responsible for these interrelated crises.

The climate change mitigation commitments thus far made by countries in the Global North are wholly insufficient; not only in terms of emissions reductions, but in their failure to address the root causes of the crisis – systemic and intersecting inequalities and injustices. This failure to take inequality and injustice seriously can be seen in even the most ambitious models of climate mitigation.

This report sets out to explore the social and ecological implications of those models with a focus on metal mining, in six sections:

  • Climate justice, just(ice) transition locates the report’s contributions within the broader struggle for climate and environmental justice, explains the reasoning for the report’s focus on mining and emphasizes the social dimension of energy transitions.
  • Extractivism in the decades to come discusses projections for total resource extraction over the next four decades and raises concerns about the interconnected ecological impacts of increased resource extraction.
  • The transition-mining nexus section places in perspective the significance of renewable energy technologies in driving demand, by examining the share of critical metal end-uses that renewable energy technologies account for relative to other end-uses.
  • Greenwashing, political will and investment trends expose how the mining industry is attracting investment and justifying new projects by citing projected critical metals demand and framing itself as a key actor in the transition.
  • Metal mining as a driver of socioenvironmental conflict offers a sense of the systemic and global nature of the social and ecological impacts of metal mining.
  • Moving beyond extractivism offers a sense of possibility in suggesting different ways forward, by addressing both the material and political challenges to a postextractivist transition.

 

This report finds that:

  • Current models project that as fossil fuels become less prominent in the generation of energy, metalintensive technologies will replace them. The assertion that economic growth can be decoupled, in absolute terms, from environmental and social impact is deeply flawed.
  • Central to these models is the unquestioned acceptance that economic growth in the Global North will continue unchanged, and as such, will perpetuate global and local inequalities and drive the demand for energy, metals, minerals and biomass further beyond the already breached capacity of the biosphere.
  • The assumption that economic growth is a valuable indicator of wellbeing must be challenged. Scarcity is the result of inequality, not a lack of productive capacity. Redistribution is the answer to both social and economic injustice and the threat that extractivism and climate breakdown pose.
  • Reducing fossil fuel energy dependence on its own is not a sufficient response to the intersecting socio-ecological crises, the extractivist model as a whole must be challenged.
  • There is a need to address the extractivist model because mineral, metal and biomass extraction threaten frontline communities and the interconnected ecologies that sustain life and wellbeing.
  • This need is particularly urgent because the mining industry is driving a new greenwashing narrative by claiming that vast quantities of metals will be needed to meet the material demands of renewable energy technologies.
  • This greenwashing narrative serves to obscure and justify the inherently harmful nature of extractivist mining. International financial institutions and sectors of civil society that have embraced these assumptions are complicit in the mining industry’s greenwashing efforts.
  • Increased investment and political will for large-scale mineral and metal extraction is not an inevitable consequence of the transition, it is one of the fundamental contradictions within a vision of climate change mitigation which fails to understand extractivism as a model fundamentally rooted in injustice.
  • Around the world, frontline communities are pushing back the expansion of extractivism and offering solutions to social and ecological injustice. But unfortunately, their voices, demands and visions are far too often absent in climate policy and campaigning spaces and agendas.
  • Justice and equity need to be understood as cross-cutting issues that touch every aspect of the transition. These principles are fully compatible with ecological wellbeing and mutually enhance one another. Increasing access to energy, food and public services goes hand-in-hand with reducing excess consumption through processes of redistribution. The solutions are fundamentally social; technical fixes and increases in efficiency do not bring about justice or ecological wellbeing on their own.