Is your cell phone causing a war?

This summer I had the pleasure of riding my bicycle with the She’s My Sister tour, up the eastern side of the United States. While we were in Washington D.C. we had a chance to talk to the Enough Project,  an organization that conducts intensive field research in countries plagued by genocide and crimes against humanity.

What follows is a jaw dropping conversation on how our electronic devices are helping fund one of the biggest wars since WWII

Want to know how it works?

“Armed groups earn hundreds of millions of dollars every year by trading conflict minerals. These minerals are in all our electronics devices.  Government troops and militias fight to control the mines, murdering and raping civilians to fracture the structure of society.

What Are Conflict Minerals?

Gold, tin, tantalum, tungsten (the “3 T’s”), are mined in eastern Congo and are in all consumer electronics products.

Locals in mining communities are forced to take part in the illicit mining economy. Money earned from the sale of conflict minerals is used for personal profit and to further violent causes.

Minerals are smuggled out of Congo through neighboring countries, then shipped to smelters around the world for refinement. Once minerals are processed in this way, it’s difficult to trace their origin. Conflict minerals easily make their way to the U.S. and all over the world in consumer products.” Taken from the Enough Project

Check out the video for a better description on what happens over in the Congo.

So did you know about conflict minerals? How do you think companies should respond to conflict minerals? Should there be more laws set in place? Leave your thoughts below.

All rights reserved Salient.