Each and every one of us living in the western world is helping fuel the deadliest war since WWII. Our consumerism is perpetuating an ongoing conflict responsibile for 1100 rapes each month, over 5 million deaths in the past 15 years, and over 3.5 million more displaced. The gadgets we view as modern day necessities - our cell phones, iPads, laptops, and digital cameras - are all manufactured using the inhumanely mined minerals tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold.
Armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo continue to profit off of this multi-million dollar trade in conflict minerals while committing brutal atrocities against civilians - forced labor, child soldiers, torture, killings, mass rape and sexual violence - to intimidate, humiliate, exploit and control entire communities of women, men and children.
Massachusetts State Representative Martin Walsh (D) filed 'An Act Relative to Congo Conflict Minerals' (H.3982), which would prohibit the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from contracting with companies that do not comply with federal regulations for the certification of minerals originating in the Congo. This legislation would allow the Commonwealth an opportunity to address this horrific situation and to make a significant difference in the lives of the Congolese people. By encouraging the use of conflict-free minerals, Massachusetts would be in the forefront of efforts to end the war and sexual violence that have been devastating the DRC for over a decade.
This bill, if passed, could provide a powerful incentive for companies to develop products that are untainted by atrocities in Congo.
Please support the swift and full passage of this bill!