Jul 27, 2010

Conflict Minerals

For the last few months I've been following the discussion of the Conflict Minerals Act. The legislation was recently signed into law, and is intended to "develop the means to ensure that the multimillion dollar trade in minerals from eastern Congo stops financing the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II. It will also help raise awareness about the issue to both the public and policy makers". The law demands greater transparency and accountability from companies whose products contain these mineral ores or their derivatives.

Laura Seay has an article in the Christian Science Monitor that offers some compelling arguments for why this legislation may not work. Do we have any examples of legislation passed in the U.S. or  Europe that have made an impact in Africa in trouble areas? I can only think of the economic and political pressure applied to apartheid South Africa in which banks and investment firms withdrew from the country, and many western nations severed diplomatic ties.

Below is a video recently released by the Enough project that draws attention to the issue of conflict minerals.


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