There are four minerals that the technology we use every day (phones, laptops, digital cameras etc.) could not function without - tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold. These minerals are sourced in the Eastern Congo, where various militant groups control the mines and the local population. They force people, including children, into labour, tax them heavily and enjoy a large profit. The armed groups have used rape widely as a tool of war and a way to intimidate local people, and they have perpetrated some of the worst forms of torture. It is estimated around 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.
Our ultimate goal is to entice the University's Committee on Sustainable Development to pass a resolution that will:
1.) call for the university to act with more transparency, responsibility, and due diligence when purchasing electronics
2.) call for the university to make a public statement demanding their suppliers to provide 'conflict-free' products and publish the origins of the minerals used in their products
3.) call for the university to sign itself into the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, therefore aligning St Andrews with Emory University, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, University of Pennsylvania, and our other partner universities involved in the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative