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The mission of Child Soldier Relief Foundation (CSR), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization designated by the Internal Revenue Code, is to advocate on behalf of child soldiers by serving as a central repository of information on all topics relating to the topic of child soldiers.

New Report: Conflict Minerals in Cell Phones Perpetuating Use of Child soldiers

The GrassRoots Reconciliation Group, a non-profit dedicated to bringing together “local community members and ex-child soldiers of the LRA who have escaped from rebel captivity,” has co-written a report with the Enough Project linking the demand for cell phones and other electronic products made with conflict minerals and the ongoing conflict in the Congo.  Says GRG Executive Director Sasha Lezhnev:

There are still over 3,500 child soldiers fighting in eastern Congo, abducted by militias that have gotten rich from a lucrative trade in conflict minerals.  Electronics companies need to play an important role in cleaning up their supply chains and help stop the continued use of child soldiers.

According to the report, the “electronics industry is the principal end user of the four main minerals mined in eastern Congo,” and “profit maximizing pressures from the electronics industry have driven demand for Congo’s conflict minerals, produced cheaply as a result of the medieval conditions in which they are mined and the illicit networks that funnel them out of Africa.”

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Mark Craemer – Armed groups in Congo earn over $130 million
per year from the trade.

The strategy paper makes a number of recommendations: first, that industries trace and audit their supply-chains for these minerals, by tracing “3Ts and gold in their products down to the mine of origin”; that mines be properly secured; and that miners are supported and provided with additional economic alternatives; and reforming governance structures.

GRG and Enough are calling on companies and individuals to sign the Conflict Minerals Pledge which includes concrete steps to make electronic devices conflict-free.

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Filed under: Congo, Educational, , , , , , ,

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