In a new Enough Project policy brief published today, authors Aaron Hall and Sasha Lezhnev urged leaders attending tomorrow’s high-level meeting focused on the conflict in eastern Congo -- reignited with the emergence of the M23 rebellion earlier this year -- to use the U.N. General Assembly forum to launch a “revitalized peace process” with the gravitas to make an impact where current regional efforts are coming up short. Read More »
Madison, WI– On Friday, September 21, the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, or CFCI, at UW-Madison will host a kickoff event introducing how students can get involved with promoting conflict-free technology on campus in order to stop the trade of conflict minerals funding armed groups in eastern Congo. The Conflict-Free Campus Initiative is a movement that has spread to more than 100 campuses across the nation, and has led 12 schools so far to pass resolutions giving preference to conflict-free electronics products.
The event will feature unique campus and national speakers including Raise Hope for Congo campaign manager and UW-Madison alum, JD Stier. Filmmaker Paul Freedman (Sand and Sorrow, Halfway Home) will film the event and document the journey of the student leaders as they launch the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative on Madison's campus, which will become a core story line for a comprehensive film about the conflict in Congo.
Who: Conflict-Free Campus Initiative at UW-Madison, a new student-led group advocating for the university administration to pass a conflict-free resolution
What: Conflict-Free Campus Initiative Kickoff
Where: Beefeaters Room in the Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St., Madison, WI, 53706
When: Friday, September 21, 2012 from 6:30PM – 7:30 PM, CST
Why: Armed groups in eastern Congo earn hundreds of millions of dollars every year from the sale of conflict minerals—gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten. In order to control the mines, these armed groups use systematic violence and rape as a way to intimidate local communities. The ongoing conflict in eastern Congo has claimed more than five million lives, and still continues today.
As purchasers of electronics products, U.S. consumers have a powerful role to play in helping to prevent this deadly trade. Collectively, students can work together to create a demand for responsible sourcing of minerals from Congo. With more than 40,000 students enrolled, UW-Madison has significant purchasing power that can be used to pressure electronics companies into creating conflict-free products and responsibly sourcing minerals from the Congo.
The Conflict-Free Campus Initiative draws on the power of student leadership and activism to bring about peace in Congo. It is a project of the Enough Project 's Raise Hope for Congo campaign and STAND.
Continued pressure from citizen activists has finally started to crack Nintendo—the company that ranked dead last in the Enough Project’s 2012 company rankings on conflict minerals report released last month. Nevertheless, much more is needed to convince the world’s largest video-game console maker to move beyond issuing public statements and take meaningful action to clean up its supply chain. Read More »
The Environmental Law Institution will host a panel to discuss the new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Conflict Minerals Disclosure Rule and the anticipated impacts of the new rule on companies and their global supply chains.
Sasha Lezhnev, Enough policy analyst, will participate in the panel. Other panelists will include :
Carl Bruch, Senior Attorney and Co-Director of International Programs, Environmental Law Institute (moderator)
John Fieldsend, Securities & Exchange Commission
Paul Hagen, Principal, Beveridge & Diamond
Sandy Merber, Counsel, International Trade Regulation and Sourcing, General Electric
*Attendance is free, but space is limited and RSVP is required. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
The event will also be available over teleconference. Please indicate in your RSVP whether you will participate in person or via teleconference.
The Conflict-Free Campus Initiative,or CFCI, will host a kickoff event at the University of Wisconsin - Madison on Friday, September 21. The event will introduce CFCI and explain how UW-Madison can become a CFCI leader in the nation. Clips from the documentary series, "I am Congo" will be shown.
Raise Hope for Congo campaign manager JD Steir will speak about the campaign and his time in Congo.
Location: Old Madison - Memorial Union, UW-Madison
On August 27, Ohio University’s Bobcats for a Conflict-free Campus claimed a victory two years in the making, becoming the 12th U.S. school to pledge a commitment to giving preference to conflict-free electronics products. Student leaders Ellie Hamrick and Jack Spicer wrote this guest blog post about strategies they used to advocate for the university to take a stand. Read More »
As documented in a new report from the Enough Project, which ranks electronics firms on their progress in cleaning up their supply chains of conflict minerals, there are glimmers of hope for eastern Congo despite ongoing violence there, which is driven partly by conflict minerals. When we visited Congo late last year, we met activist Amani Matabaro when we first arrived in Bukavu, South Kivu province. His story, his work, and his passion were featured as part of Raise Hope for Congo's video series "I Am Congo." Read More »
The widespread nature of violence in eastern Congo today is often described as being the result of a security vacuum: The attention of the Congolese army and the U.N. peacekeepers is focused on M23, leaving other parts of the volatile region vulnerable to local armed groups. This is surely part of the story. But there is also reason to believe that these local militias are receiving backing from outside actors. Read More »