For Immediate Release
April 24, 2009
STRATEGY PAPER: The Enough Project’s Comprehensive Approach to Conflict Minerals
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2009 – Electronics companies must ensure they are not using minerals which finance the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the deadliest conflict in over 50 years, says the Enough Project in a new strategy paper released today.
Many of these minerals end up in cell phones and other electronic devices used daily by millions of American consumers. Audits of the supply chain for these deadly minerals are part of a four-part strategy to curb illegal profiteering from the trade in conflict minerals, detailed in the paper by the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress and the Grassroots Reconciliation Group.
The paper is the second in a series of strategy papers on “conflict minerals,” the ores that produce the tin, tungsten, and tantalum found in many popular electronic products.
"Bringing transparency to the consumer electronics supply chain is an essential first step if we want to transform Congo’s mineral resources from a curse into an engine of growth for millions of people who remain trapped by both violence and poverty," said John Norris, Enough’s executive director. “It is no accident that the majority of the violence in eastern Congo has been carried out in areas rich with minerals. Conflict minerals remain a key source of financing for some of the most reprehensible armed groups in the world."
“As consumers and global citizens, we have a critical role to play in demanding that companies and governments exercise leverage over the supply chain,” says Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo remains the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman or a girl—in significant part because of the international demand for electronic products that requires minerals found in eastern Congo. Eastern Congo is a complex crisis—fueled by tensions over land, rights, identity, regional power struggles and the fundamental weaknesses of Congo as a state— and the trade in conflict minerals is one of the key drivers of the conflict.
“At the same time,” adds Enough Project Research Associate David Sullivan, “a more comprehensive approach will be necessary—one that embraces a significant, sustained, and long-term investment in Congo’s security, governance, and livelihoods.”
Read the full strategy paper here.
Visit the Enough Project’s blog, Enough Said, for regular updates on the crisis in Congo and visit RaiseHopeforCongo.org to see details of the Conflict Minerals pledge electronic companies are being asked to endorse.