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Congo: Global Witness Pressures Cell Phone Makers to Act

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Congo Crisis Update: Global Witness Pressures Cell Phone Manufacturers to Accept Responsibility & Act -- Responsibly

Read Mission Song. John Le Carre's extraordinary thriller about the Congo. Click here for the Buzzflash review. 

The following excerpt is from a press release issued by Global Witness at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Share it with your cell phone company.

I also encourage you to attend the "Turning Pain To Power" Tour -- i.e., Dr. Denis Mukwege, winner of the 2008 UN Human Rights Prize and Founder of the ground breaking PANZI Hospital in Bukavu in conversation with V-Day Founder Eve Ensler. Click here for the schedule.

"There is a direct causal link between the metals trade in eastern DRC and atrocities perpetrated by armed groups against Congolese civilians. Recent work by Global Witness and the UN Group of Experts revealed that all of the main armed groups involved in the current fighting in eastern DRC finance themselves through the trade in high-value minerals. These minerals are processed into metals such as tin and tantalum, which are used in the manufacture of mobile phones.

“'The surging global demand for mobile phones has been helping to bankroll armed groups in Eastern Congo’s conflict,' said Annie Dunnebacke of Global Witness. 'Mobile phone manufacturers need to undertake checks all the way up their supply chains to make sure they are not buying from mines controlled by militias and military units.' ...

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"Global Witness recently wrote to major mobile phone manufacturers as well as mineral and metal traders to ask them what due diligence measures they are taking to ensure that their sourcing practices are not fuelling the conflict. While some firms have pledged to tighten their supply chain control, the mobile phone industry as a whole lacks sufficient measures to guarantee that phones and other electronics are free of conflict minerals." Global Witness, 2-16-09

For a Words of Power Archive of Human Rights Updates, click here.

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now!
Click here for more information.

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Richard Power writes and speaks on the 21st Century security and sustainability crisis. He is the author of five books. He has also delivered executive intelligence briefings and led professional training in over thirty countries. You can read his (more...)

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