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Conflict Minerals Factsheet


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Conflict Minerals Factsheet

  1. 1. Fact Sheet - Conflict Minerals  Over 5.4 million have died in since 1998 making it the deadliest conflict since World War II.  The UN believes that 15-30% of all newly-recruited combatants in the DRC army are under 18 years old. In the DRC, child soldiers are forced to commit the most atrocious acts of murder, acts which mentally scar them for life. Female child soldiers are frequently used as sexual slaves by the commanders.1  Conflict minerals including diamonds, gold and coltan have directly fuelled brutal wars and have contributed to grave human rights abuses.  Coltan has become one of the worlds most sought-after materials because it is used to create tantalum, a key ingredient in electronic circuitry. Coltan is found in computers, cell phones, home appliances and myriad other electronic goods2.  The war will continue as long as armed groups can finance their warfare by selling minerals such as tin, tungsten and tantalum.3  The Dodd Frank Act, passed by the US Congress in July 2010 marks a first step by the international community to take social responsibility for conflict minerals.  The act includes a provision aimed at stopping the national army and rebel groups in the DRC from illegally using profits from the minerals trade to fund their fight and a disclosure requirement that calls on companies to determine whether their products contain conflict minerals – by carrying out supply chain due diligence.  The western world has a big part to play, but transparent and efficient state institutions are essential to put a stop to the conflict and secure foreign investment and economic growth.1