I am originally from the North Kivu province in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where conflict has been raging for over fifteen years. While that conflict began as a war over larger issues like politics and ethnicity, it has increasingly turned to war of profit, with various armed groups destroying communities by fighting one another over control of key mining areas. The minerals being fought over are part of your daily life. They power your phone, your computer, your music player.
I want an iPhone for the holidays this year - and I do like the iPhone4S - but having monitored mining sites in eastern Congo for several years documenting human rights abuses, I have seen firsthand the rape, violence, and devastation being fueled by the trade in minerals found in electronics products.
I cannot in good conscience purchase a new phone because the gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum that power it are destroying my home.
Join me in asking Apple to create a conflict-free product that includes conflict-free minerals from eastern Congo that help Congolese communities by the 2013 holiday season. They can pave the way for all companies and consumers to make conflict-free phones and computers that help people in eastern Congo.
Dear Mr. Cook,
Apple pays such incredible attention to every detail of its products. Except for the parts that fuel war in eastern Congo.
Gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum power all of your products - iPhones, iPads, MacBooks included. These minerals are in abundance in eastern Congo where the deadliest war in the world today has been raging for over fifteen years.
Apple, I’m asking you to make a conflict-free product that includes minerals from eastern Congo that support communities rather than benefit the pockets of armed groups, by the holiday season 2013. If you make a conflict-free product supporting a clean minerals trade in eastern Congo, I will buy it.
Currently, armed groups use rape and torture to destroy communities and control lucrative mines. They force workers into slavery, including children, loot villages, and perpetrate some of the worst forms of torture. Over six million people have died and hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been raped, all while commanders earn millions of dollars each year selling these minerals for use in electronics.
Stop fueling the deadliest conflict since World War II. Pave the way to creating a responsible mining sector in the eastern Congo so all companies and consumers can source conflict-free.