The ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the greatest humanitarian challenges in the world today. And most consumers are connected to the crisis, because valuable minerals from Congo are used in global manufacturing. Many laborers at the mines are slaves.
But there’s good news to report: we’re thrilled that corporations are now taking action to help end the conflict and the slavery it fuels. Major electronics companies, a mining company and a trade association are trying to end human rights abuses and promote peace in the DRC.
Several companies have gone beyond investigating their own supply chains to learn if conflict minerals are in their products. They have participated in talks with the U.S. State Department to encourage the American government to help the DRC create stable and effective governance. Some companies signed a joint letter urging the State Dept. to prioritize peace, security and good governance in Congo. (See the letter on our Congo webpage at the bottom.)
As well, some of these companies are working to mitigate what has become a de facto mining embargo of Africa’s Great Lakes Region. Rather than avoiding minerals from Congo all together, which harms everyone in the region, some corporations and trade associations are supporting projects that will allow minerals to be traced so they can be certified as conflict or slavery free.
The work is proceeding through company efforts and the Public Private Alliance for Responsible Mineral Trade and the Solutions for Hope Project.
Please join us in thanking Advanced Micro Devices, Hewlett-Packard, the Information Technology Industry Council, Intel, Kemet Electronics, Motorola Solutions, Pamoja Minerals, Philips and Research in Motion for their strong stance on bringing peace to the DRC.
And please join the fight to end slavery and conflict in Congo. You can learn more on the FTS website.