An article in today’s Wall Street Journal describes how the tin trade in eastern Congo is “under threat” due to increased attention from the United Nations on the illicit mineral trade in the region. The article is certainly alarming as a suggestion of the effect a significant decrease in the trade would have on the livelihood of the already impoverished miners. But before concluding that the U.N.’s calls for due diligence will lead to more harm than good, it’s important to take note of the strongly competing interests of the various actors involved in the trade, including the unnamed tin dealers featured in the WSJ piece.
We’re following this issue closely, so check this space for updates. If you missed our first two papers on the links between the ‘conflict mineral’ trade and sexual violence in Congo, they are available here and here.