企業涉及「血腥礦石」 恐遭戰爭罪起訴 | 環境資訊中心

企業涉及「血腥礦石」 恐遭戰爭罪起訴

2011年01月11日
摘譯自2011年1月3日ENS荷蘭,海牙報導;洪美惠編譯;蔡麗伶審校

電子設備要用到鈳鉭礦。圖片來自:ENS報導。 編按:李奧納多主演的〈血鑽石〉,讓大眾認識到鑽石礦利益背後的武裝衝突、以及扼殺在地者人權的血腥面;然而除了鑽石,其他自然資源爭奪戰的背後也隱藏了許多類似的故事,因而引發國際上人權倡議者抵制「衝突礦時」的呼聲與討論。本文為讓讀者對相關名詞更為熟悉,暫且用「血腥礦石」指稱。

目前國際上的法律人與人權運動者正催生一項追緝非法採礦獲利者的新構想──針對來自剛果民主共和國等國家的所謂「血腥礦石」,凡涉及相關貿易活動並因此獲利的企業,以「戰爭罪」起訴。僅管有些人認為,此方式可能會造成依賴這種交易為生的貧窮社區更加赤貧,但卻廣泛受到運動人士的歡迎。

由荷蘭和加拿大政府合作舉辦的「開放社會研究所的正義行動」(Open Society Institute's Justice Initiative) 會議日前在海牙舉行,與會者討論到以上述方式來遏止非法開採自然資源的可能性,而這方面的法學領域過去一項受到忽視。前南斯拉夫國際刑事法庭(ICTY)檢察官史都華(James Stewart)也在會中發表了一份參考文件,作為起訴戰爭罪的參考手冊。 

該文件刊載相關司法定義和判例,可讓國際法庭起訴以非法貿易天然資源而獲利的企業經營者。批評人士說,此類交易衍生的資金,助長了剛果民主共國等國家內持續發生的暴力和強姦犯行,在過去10年裡,估計在剛果一國就有500萬人遇害。

在剛果最受青睞的礦物是鈳鉭鐵礦(coltan),這項材料用在行動電話、遙控器和MP3播放器。 世界上80%鈳鉭礦是由剛果民主共和國供應,在該國由民兵大量開採。

這個男孩在剛果民主共和國東部Kaji鎮滔金。圖片來自:ENOUGH計劃。 據聯合國估計,在過去60年來,超過40%內戰都涉及自然資源;而聯合國在全球各地的維和行動,有1/3是在處理源自然資源爭奪戰衍生的武裝衝突。

為了能夠成功起訴此類罪行,各國法庭必須採取主動;例如依照法律的互補原則,國際刑事法庭(ICC)的會員國可以採用海牙法庭的戰爭罪條文來起訴掠奪者。

5年前,聯合國安理會擴大了制裁目標,只要涉及以非法天然資源交易資助剛果民主共和國武裝勢力的企業和個人,便可加以起訴。然而,目前只有30個個人和法人列入制裁清單。最近則有另一項反挫,先前英國政府拒絕將涉及血腥礦石交易的英國公司列入制裁清單,對造向英國法院提出上訴,然而在2010年10月,此議遭到駁回。

許多人權分子認為,將掠奪自然資源以戰爭罪起訴,可以有效轉移衝突地區民兵的資金,但有人認為這可能導致當地貧困社區失去工作和收入。還有些人認為,不論是直接或透過仲介購買那些由民兵非法取得的礦物,就以戰爭罪起訴,實際上可能會對剛果民主共和國本身有負面影響。

另外還有人認為,起訴掠奪自然資源的行為,長期而言,對投資和貿易活動是好事。

Firms Linked to Conflict Minerals May Face Prosecution
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, January 3, 2011 (ENS)

New proposals to pursue those who benefit from the illegal exploitation of minerals have been broadly welcomed by activists - although some argue this would impoverish communities dependent on the trade.

Under new measures put forward by lawyers and human rights activists, companies that profit from the trade in so-called conflict minerals in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, could face war crimes prosecution.

The possibility of using a neglected body of jurisprudence to curb the illegal exploitation of natural resources was raised at a recent conference in The Hague, held under the auspices of the Open Society Institute's Justice Initiative, in coordination with the Dutch and Canadian governments.

The conference saw the launch of a document described as a manual for war crimes prosecutors by its author, former International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, prosecutor James Stewart.

The publication sets out the relevant judicial definitions and precedents which would enable national courts to prosecute individuals from corporations involved in the illicit trade in natural resources. Critics say funds derived from such transactions have been fueling ongoing violence and rape in countries like the DRC, where an estimated five million people have been killed in the past 10 years alone.

Among the most prized resources mined in the DRC is coltan, a material used in virtually every mobile phone, remote control and MP3 player. Some 80 percent of the world supply of coltan is to be found in the DRC and is heavily exploited by militia.

The United Nations estimates that over 40 percent of civil wars over the past 60 years have involved natural resources and almost one in three UN peacekeeping missions worldwide deal with conflicts sustained by revenues derived from natural resources. 

For such crimes to be successfully prosecuted, national courts would need to take the initiative. ICC member states, through the principle of complimentarity, can adopt the Hague court's war crimes statutes to prosecute the crime of pillage.

Five years ago, the UN Security Council extended a set of targeted sanctions to prosecute companies and individuals involved in financing illegal armed groups in the DRC through the illicit trade in natural resources.

However, currently only 30 individuals and entities have been placed on the targeted list of sanctions. Recently, in October 2010, a British court declined an application for a judicial review of the government's decision not to list United Kingdom companies trading in Congolese conflict minerals for targeted UN sanctions.

Many activists believe prosecuting the pillage of natural resources as a war crime would be an effective means of channelling funds away from militias in conflict zones, but some argue that this may result in already impoverished local communities losing jobs and income.

However, some argue that prosecuting businessmen for war crimes if the materials they bought - directly or through an intermediary - were initially procured illegally by armed militia groups could actually have a negative effect in places like DRC.

But others believe that prosecuting the pillage of natural resources would benefit investment and trade in the long term.

全文及圖片詳見:ENS報導