Take away the conflict

Staff writer
March 7, 2014 01:00 AM


On Saturday, March 8, in recognition of International Women's Day, the United Nations will shine a spotlight on one of the deadliest conflicts since the Second World War.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the illegal trade in minerals provides huge profits for warlords. Almost 40 per cent of the mine workers are children, and in order to intimidate and control local populations, the level of sexual violence against women is unprecedented. Forty-eight rapes take place every hour.

Most Canadian consumers probably do not realize that they may be unwittingly allowing and even contributing to these atrocities. The conflict in Congo is fuelled by the profits from conflict minerals. These - especially tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold - eventually end up in our consumer electronics. We have a right to choose products that don't contain conflict minerals, and that therefore do not support the savage conflict in Congo.

In order to be able to choose conflict free, we must know the truth about what we are buying.

If you use a cell phone, computer or any electronic device, support peace in Congo and fewer opportunities for warlords by joining the Just Minerals Campaign (http://cftn.ca/campaign/just-minerals). Just Minerals calls on our government to empower Canadians to choose products without conflict minerals by requiring the exercise of public due diligence in sourcing the minerals in products.

To find out how electronic companies rate with regards to the use of conflict minerals or fairly sourced minerals, and to send them an immediate message, go to:www.raisehopeforcongo.org.

Together, we can take conflict out of Canadian homes, and in doing so, make life safer for women in Congo - a good way to celebrate International Women's Day!

Julie Gleadow

Roberts Creek

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