Conflict Minerals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Resource Guide
We are taught in Leviticus that “You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.” (Leviticus 19:16) For more than a century, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been plagued by regional conflict and a deadly scramble for its vast natural resources. In eastern Congo today, these mineral resources are financing multiple armed groups, many of whom use mass rape as a deliberate strategy to intimidate and control local populations. Through these practices of murder, rape, and coercion the groups are able to secure control of mines, trading routes, and other strategic areas.
Armed groups earn hundreds of millions of dollars per year by trading four main minerals: the ores that produce tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold. This money enables them 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, American consumers have no way to ensure that their purchases are not financing armed groups that regularly commit atrocities, including mass rape.
What Needs To Be Done:
The first step to ending the horrific violence in Congo is the creation of a certification process for the valuable minerals fueling the crisis. This process will involve the commitment of companies that rely on the minerals for their products to get their materials elsewhere, as well government involvement from countries including the U.S., Canada and others.
5 Things You Can Do:
1. Educate yourself: Visit the RAC Conflict Minerals Issue Page for materials, background, programs, and additional resources.
2. Take Action: Tell Congress to stop Conflict Minerals and help spread the word.
3. Educate others through a program at your synagogue or in your community. Sample programs are available at the RAC Program Bank
4. Male your Campus/Synagogue/Community Conflict Free by checking out the resource guide at Raise Hope for Congo.
5. Urge companies to go Conflict Free at Raise Hope for Congo.