Advancing Human Rights through Financial Reporting
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
The passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 marked the most significant revision of US financial regulations since the Great Depression. Among the most innovative—and controversial—features of the law were the provisions requiring the Securities and Exchange Commission to receive reports from corporations disclosing whether “conflict minerals” originating in or around the Democratic Republic of Congo are used in the manufacture of their products. This provision, contained in Section 1502 of the Act, was designed to address ongoing concerns about the way in which the extraction of certain resources in eastern DRC was contributing to the endemic violence and massive violation of human rights in the wider region. After many months of consultations, the SEC issued the reporting requirement rule in August 2012, which established disclosure process for compliance with the Section 1502 provisions. Having withstood legal challenges, these rules are now in effect and will require companies to submit their first disclosures on May 31, 2014.
Timed to coincide with the approaching reporting deadline, these events will explore the potential legal, political, and economic impacts of Dodd-Frank Section 1502 and the larger legislative and administrative aspirations, implementation, and impacts of the provision and rule.
1:30PM-3:00PM – Panel of Experts
Erika George (University of Utah)
Relevant Publication: Erika R. George, “Influencing the Impact of Business on Human Rights: Corporate Social Responsibility Through Transparency and Reporting,” in Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Impacts: New Expectations and Paradigms (American Bar Association, Lara Blecher, Nancy Kaymar-Stafford & Gretchen Bellamy (eds.) 2014). Copyright 2014© by the American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission. This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.
Sasha Lezhnev (Enough Project)
Laura Seay (Colby College)
Relevant Publication: Laura E. Seay, What’s Wrong with Dodd-Frank 1502? Conflict Minerals, Civilian Livelihoods, and the Unintended Consequences of Western Advocacy (Center for Global Development, Working Paper 284, January 2012)
Celia Taylor (University of Denver)
Relevant Publication: Celia R. Taylor, Conflict Minerals and SEC Disclosure Regulation (Harvard Business Law Review Online, 2012)
Moderator: Stephen Park (UConn School of Business)
3:30PM-5:30PM – Keynote Panel
Remarks by the Honorable Christopher J. Dodd
Neil Brown (former Senior Staff, Senate Foreign Relations Committee)
Toby Whitney (former Legislative Director, Rep. Jim McDermott)
Moderator: Patricia McCoy (UConn School of Law)
5:30PM-6:30PM – Public Reception