You are hereStudents take action against conflict minerals
Students take action against conflict minerals
We use our cell phones, laptops, iPhones and other electronic devices everyday, but what most of us do not realize is these items contain minerals fueling a blazing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mineral conflict in the Congo is today’s version of the blood diamond, and people across the United States are demanding change.
Fifty universities around the country are taking a stand to initiate change among electronic manufacturers through the Enough Project. This non-profit organization created the Conflict Free Campus Initiative, which has spread its influence to the University of Colorado Boulder. CU Boulder recently passed a Resolution stating the university’s support of conflict-free products with the help of senior, Genevieve Smith.
“It’s all about being global citizens today. Our actions are affecting people we don’t even realize,” said Smith.
In statements released by the Conflict Free Campus Initiative, they said that raising awareness on campus will pressure major electronics companies to take responsibility for the minerals in their supply chains.
Electronic products contain gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten, but these minerals are the fuel that burns this conflict. Motivated by profit from the mineral trade, armed groups use scare tactics to control the people of Congo. It is a vicious cycle, as the armed groups earn more money, buy more weapons and force more labor in mining minerals. The conflict has claimed 45,000 lives a month, and has the highest rates of sexual violence in the entire world, making it the deadliest conflict since World War II.
The Conflict Free Campus Initiative said that they believe students and universities have the power to influence transparency and accountability from electronics companies. CU Boulder is the first public university to pass a resolution on campus, with hopes of someday passing a bill of action.
Because these minerals are ubiquitous in many commonly used devices there are currently no certified conflict-free products on the market. But companies like Dell, Nokia and Microsoft are setting an example for the industry. A complete list of company rankings can be found online at: