Quick leason for those of you who don’t know…………….tin, tantalum, tungsten (the “3 T’s”), as well as gold, are mined in Eastern Congo and are in ALL consumer electronics products. Tin is used to solder compononts of our electronics together. Tantalum (Coltan) stores the electricity in your electronic device. Tungsten makes your cell phone vibrate. Gold coats the wires.
Government troops and other armed groups fight to control mines, murder and rape civilians to terrorize local populations, and use the money from conflict minerals sales to buy guns ammo and further their violent causes. The trade itself is worth hundreds of millions dollars annually, yet the money doesn’t go to the Congolese.
This means that our cell phones, computers, Blackberrys, gaming systems, and cameras are indirectly fueling the fighting in Eastern Congo.
The armed groups use rape as their weapon of choice because it fractures the structure of society and intimidates local populations. Ending the trade in conflict minerals — ensuring responsible sourcing of the minerals used in our laptops and cell phones — will cut of a major source of financing to militias and incentive for violence. It is a key step in alleviating the greater conflict in the Congo.
Section 1502 is part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. This act was put into place in July of last year (2010). It was created to force companies to prove where they obtained their Minerals. There is alot of contrivecy on whether or not this is a good thing. There was a New York Times article claiming that the Dodd-Frank reform was causing more harm. I tend to agree with Sasha Lezhnev‘s artical What Conflict Minerals Legislation Is Actually Accomplishing in Congo. The Congoleese aren’t seeing this money anyway so lets stop supporting companies who support war. Companies like Target, Best Buy, Honda, Kay Jewelers, Tiffany & Co, and Verizon are threating a lawsuit for the strong regulations of 1502 and are asking to weaken or completely throwout the act. Call these Companies and let them know what you think. Tell them you will buy their products when you know the supply has not supported rape and murder. Do it now!!!!!