4 March 2011
Yet the conflict in eastern Congo is fueled by a multi-million dollar trade in minerals that go into our electronic products. Over five million people have died as a result, and hundreds of thousands of women have been raped over the past decade. The armed groups perpetuating the violence generate hundreds of millions of dollars each year by trading in four main minerals, tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. This money enables the militias to purchase large numbers of weapons and continue their campaign of brutal violence against civilians, with some of the worst abuses occurring in mining areas.
The majority of these minerals eventually wind up in electronic devices such as cell phones, portable music players, and computers. Given the lack of a transparent minerals supply chain, consumers have no way to ensure that their purchases are not financing armed groups that regularly commit atrocities, including mass rape.
RAISE Hope for Congo aims to build a constituency of activists who will advocate for the protection and empowerment of Congolese women and girls.
As part of the Enough campaign, twenty-one of the world’s largest electronics companies have been surveyed and ranked according to their progress towards ensuring a conflict-free supply chain and a conflict-free mining sector in Congo. The Conflict–Minerals ranking for each company can be found here