End Conflict Mineral Usage in Nintendo Products
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Nintendo is one of the most widely-known and loved electronics companies in the world, and likely the most popular developer of video games and consoles- including the DS, the Wii, the Mario series, and Pokemon. They also cannot verify that ANY single one of their products does not use conflict minerals. Conflict minerals are minerals which involve bloody conflict to harvest- the most relevant here being coltan, gold, tungsten, and tin. These minerals are mined primitively with rudimentary tools in the Congo. Armed militias kill, torture, and even rape many of the population of Congo to intimidate others into joining their illegal mines for these minerals- which have bad enough conditions on their own, even disregarding the militias. They are ill-equipped and unprotected in their mining- many die in the mines alone. Each miner only manages about a kilogram of coltan a day, and in this conflict, an estimated 5.5 million people have already died. This was named the bloodiest conflict since WWII. The minerals they mine are sent to be refined in East Asia and used in phones, laptop, and gaming consoles all around the world. Coltan is used to store electricity in electronics once refined, tungsten is used to make cell phones vibrate, tin is used in circuit boards, and a small amount of gold is used to coat wires.
Nintendo has not been able to confirm that any of their products are conflict-mineral free. There is no justification for that, in my opinion. They are a multi-billion dollar company, behemoths in the world of tech and gaming. To say that they cannot afford to spend a bit more on verifying the origin of their materials is ridiculous. Nintendo should be making more of an effort to do this, and if it is impossible to collect information from finished products, they need to step in at an earlier process of development. It is absolutely possible to find where these minerals come from. As of now, the efforts of children in Congo who barely get enough to eat and work from dawn till dusk every day are being put into Nintendo products for other children half a world away to use. That is simply unethical and wrong.
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