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The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) is an independent, not-for-profit research and network organisation working on social, ecological and economic issues related to sustainable development. Since 1973, the organisation investigates multinational corporations and the consequences of their activities for people and the environment around the world. More...

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Community rights widely abused by cobalt mining in Democratic Republic of Congo

Community rights widely abused by cobalt mining in Democratic Republic of Congo

Apr 18, 2016

Research by SOMO reveals that serious human rights violations and environmental pollution are happening in Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of cobalt mining, including water pollution and forced evictions. SOMO’s research shows that these problems are structural. Cobalt is used in rechargeable batteries for smart phones and laptops, and SOMO is calling on electronics companies to take responsibility for the way cobalt in their supply chain is mined. On Tuesday April 19, civil society organisations, companies and electronics manufacturers will meet to discuss the issues surrounding the extraction of minerals such as cobalt at a meeting at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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AFREWATCH strives for equal access to natural resources

AFREWATCH strives for equal access to natural resources

Apr 17, 2016

SOMO published its new report ‘Cobalt Blues’ today. It includes a contribution by African Resources Watch (AFREWATCH) from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Emmanuel Umpala Nkumba, director of the nonprofit organisation AFREWATCH, discusses his collaboration with SOMO, which focuses on capacity building and the promotion and protection of human rights.

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Hanze University supports fair electronics

Hanze University supports fair electronics

Apr 15, 2016

Hanze University of Applied Sciences is set to become the first Dutch institution of higher education to affiliate to Electronics Watch – an independent monitoring organisation helping public organisations source socially responsible IT products.

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Mining Misery: Film and debate on cobalt mines in Congo

Mining Misery: Film and debate on cobalt mines in Congo

Apr 13, 2016

It is used in batteries, laptops and mobile phones: cobalt. Most cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo and frequently involves gross human rights violations.

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Big companies, low rates

Big companies, low rates

Apr 05, 2016

Commissioned by FNV, SOMO examined the average, effective tax rate for a group of more than 150 large Dutch companies over a period of ten years (2005-2014). In recent years, tax avoidance by foreign companies, and the role of Dutch tax policy in that, has frequently featured prominent in the media. Currently it's a hot topic because of the Panama Papers. The report “Grote Bedrijven, Kleine Lasten” focuses on a group of Dutch companies and the degree to which they have succeeded in reducing their effective tax rates. This leads to a loss in tax revenues for governments of € 3 billion per year.

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