Sexual and Gender Based Violence

Compromising with Evil: An archival history of greater Sudan, 2007 – 2012

The result of years of research, Sudan specialist and professor Eric Reeves today published a new eBook entitled Compromising with Evil that serves as a comprehensive archive of the atrocities committed in Sudan over the past five years. In this guest blog post Reeves explains the motivations behind the project.  Read More »

Converting Rhetoric Into Reality on Atrocity Prevention

In April 2012, President Obama went all-in rhetorically when he asserted that preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a "core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States." Such statements are in part an outgrowth of the American public's horror at the genocide and atrocities of recent decades in places like Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur. But as the limited U.S. response to the ongoing conflict in Syria illustrates, there is not yet a full understanding of the centrality of preventing mass atrocities to our national security.  Read More »

Girls, not Guns: The Promise of Progress for South Sudan

During the first year of independence for the world’s newest nation, women of South Sudan united to amplify their voices and ensure their rights are guaranteed in the constitution and enforced by the government. These efforts have led to some milestones in the development of women’s rights in South Sudan, but many challenges still remain.  Read More »

New UW-Madison Student Group Pushes for Conflict-Free Campus

Date: 
Sep 18, 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: JD Stier, Raise Hope for Congo campaign manager, (202)250-4057, jdstier@enoughproject.org

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.

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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.

Raise Hope for Congo aims to build a permanent and diverse constituency of activists who will advocate for the human rights of all Congolese citizens and work towards ending the ongoing conflict in eastern Congo. For additional information on the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, and Raise Hope for Congo, please visit: http://www.raisehopeforcongo.org/content/conflict-free-campus-initiative

Game Over?: Nintendo Bends to Activists’ Pressure on Conflict Minerals

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 »

Making Sense of the SEC Conflict Minerals Regulations: Enough Brief

Date: 
Aug 30, 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, +1-937-902-9587, tfehr@enoughproject.org  

WASHINGTON – On August 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, voted to adopt conflict minerals regulations for section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Following the vote, the Enough Project analyzed the 356-page text and published a new policy brief that summarizes reporting requirements for companies, and outlines key implications for the advocacy community.

Over the next four years, hundreds of companies that file annual reports with the SEC will have to exercise due diligence on the source and chain of custody of the minerals in its products. These regulations are designed to help reduce the trade of conflict minerals, which has been a major funding source for armed groups in eastern Congo.

Many companies will have to comply with the law, but how they comply will depend in part on how narrowly or expansively companies and the SEC interpret the final rule, and how effective non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, and other human rights advocates are at monitoring compliance.

"While the final rule is not perfect, it moves the conversation forward,” said Darren Fenwick, author of the brief and Enough Project Senior Manager of Government Affairs.  “ The rule gets companies that use conflict minerals to report, and gives actors that care about this issue and want to invest in Congo, like Intel, Motorola, KEMET and HP, the terms by which to operate.  The Enough Project will continue to laud companies working to eliminate the trade in conflict minerals, and bring to the attention of the SEC and the public companies who are not.”

According to the brief, two of the major compliance concerns that advocates will closely monitor are whether companies that should file section 1502 specialized disclosures actually do, and whether each companies’ minerals country of origin inquiry produces a conclusive result.  Due diligence is only triggered when a company knows or has reason to believe its minerals came from Congo or neighboring countries. Companies may perceive an incentive to conduct a country of origin inquiry that produces inconclusive results, believing they would not have to conduct due diligence in such a case.  Advocates will need to monitor good faith compliance in the conduct of these inquiries.

“Section 1502 was never intended to address all of Congo’s ills, but was designed to deal with an immediate humanitarian crisis and create the space for needed reform,” said John C. Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Enough Project. “Section 1502 applies U.S. leverage to reduce the ability of armed groups to operate in eastern Congo, opening up the door to much-needed security sector and justice system reform, as well as sustained economic development.”  

The policy brief is the first of a series of Enough Project briefs on the implementation of section 1502.

Read the full brief: “The SEC’s Ruling on Conflict Minerals: Reporting Requirements for Companies.”

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

 

Uganda Should Grant Rebels Amnesty in Exchange for Truth: Enough Report

Date: 
Aug 30, 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 30, at 12:01 am EST

Contact: Tracy Fehr, +1-937-902-9587tfehr@enoughproject.org  

GULU, Northern Uganda -- The government of Uganda’s decision to remove a key provision in the country’s Amnesty Act threatens to impede efforts to end the notorious rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. To address this concern and ensure peace in the region, the government of Uganda must clarify that former rebels will not be prosecuted, and grant amnesty to future defectors in exchange for participation in truth-seeking and reconciliation processes, according to a new Enough Project report.

The report—based on interviews with more than 60 people across northern Uganda as well as consultations with civil society groups in Congo, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan—proposes a three-part plan to achieve greater defections from the LRA while ensuring that justice and truth-seeking needs are met. The report is also accompanied by a new Enough Project video.

“While there is overwhelming support for amnesty among local communities in Northern Uganda, there is also a recognized need for reconciliation and transitional justice,” said Kasper Agger, the report’s author and Enough Project LRA field researcher. “The reality is that the vast majority of LRA fighters were forcefully abducted, so often there is no clear distinction between victim and perpetrator. To ensure long-term peace and stability, Kampala must formalize truth-seeking and traditional reconciliation practices for former combatants to receive amnesty in exchange for their participation.”

Since its enactment in 2000, the Ugandan Amnesty Act has served as a critical tool in encouraging defections from rebel groups. As of May 2012, a total of 26,288 rebels had received amnesty under the act—12,971 of which were former LRA combatants. With the recent lapse of the amnesty provision, former rebels now fear that they will face prosecution, and many believe that the provision’s removal will discourage defections and escapes from the LRA.

“The government of Uganda should listen to the concerns of its citizens and ensure that no former LRA combatants, aside from those wanted by the ICC, are prosecuted,” said Enough Executive Director John Bradshaw. “And as the government of Uganda develops its transitional justice policy, it is critical that the government adheres to a holistic approach that includes mechanisms to deal with crimes committed by all parties.”

The report found that local communities prioritize reparation and reconciliation over retributive justice, but there is a general sense that those most responsible for crimes must be held accountable, including members of the Ugandan army and government.

Read the full report: “The End of Amnesty in Uganda: Implications for LRA Defections.”

View the accompanying video that includes interviews of former LRA combatants in Northern Uganda.

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

Gathering Around the Peace Table

Earlier this summer, Lynne Hybels traveled to eastern Congo with World Relief’s Ten for Congo to visit with women and men actively working to promote reconciliation in their local communities. For years Lynne has been a strong voice in raising awareness about the conflict in eastern Congo, especially through faith networks. Below is an article she wrote about her time engaging with the Congolese churches in local Village Peace Committees.  Read More »

Human Rights Watch Awards Prestigious Prize to Anti-LRA Human Rights Defender

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch awarded its prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism to two human rights defenders from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Libya. Father Benoît Kinalegu, the Congolese recipient, is a priest and longtime activist working to document and end the atrocities committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, and rehabilitate survivors of LRA violence.  Read More »

Intel, HP Rank Highest on Conflict Minerals, Nintendo, HTC Lag Behind

Date: 
Aug 16, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jonathan Hutson, +1.202.386.1618, jhutson@enoughproject.org

WASHINGTON – In response to growing consumer demand for electronics products free of conflict minerals from eastern Congo, the Enough Project issued its second company rankings report, “Taking Conflict Out of Consumer Gadgets: Company Rankings on Conflict Minerals 2012,” which assesses consumer electronics companies on their progress toward responsible and conflict-free supply chains.

The report found that four leading electronics companies—Intel, HP, Motorola Solutions[i], and Apple[ii]—have established conflict minerals programs that pave the way for the rest of the industry. Six other companies—SanDisk, Philips, Sony, Panasonic, RIM, and AMD—significantly improved their conflict free efforts by tracing back into their supply chains, piloting due diligence, and joining a smelter audit program. On the other end of the spectrum, Nintendo remains at the bottom of the list and has yet to make any known effort to trace or audit its supply chain, despite growing public awareness.

“HP and Intel have gone above and beyond the call of duty on conflict minerals,” said Sasha Lezhnev, co-author of the report and Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst. “It is now time to level the playing field for all companies, and the Securities and Exchange Commission has a key role to play in its upcoming vote on the rules for the conflict minerals law on August 22. The SEC should ensure that retailers and all firms that use the minerals are covered by the rules and that there is not a long phase-in period. Otherwise, the Intels and HPs will be left unfairly holding the bag for a problem that belongs to thousands of companies that have been turning a blind eye to this problem for years.”

The report builds on the Enough Project’s first company rankings report that was released in December 2010. The report’s objective is to rate consumer electronics companies on their efforts to positively invest in the region, as well as their efforts to remove conflict minerals—tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold—that fund armed groups in eastern Congo from their supply chains. The minerals are used in electronic devices and are a key driver to the war, which has claimed 5.4 million lives. The rankings are designed to help provide consumers with information to make responsible and informed choices when purchasing electronics products.

“Moving forward, we need to ensure that conflict-free mining does not equate to Congo-free mining,” said actor and ethical mining entrepreneur Jeffrey Wright, who is featured in a new Enough Project video about conflict-free mining. “Companies sourcing minerals from eastern Congo can invest in a way that serves both their own interests and the interests of local communities. To help achieve this, more firms should join the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade, invest in projects to source clean minerals in eastern Congo, and support social development initiatives in mining communities to foster sustained economic growth and long-term stability.”

The 2012 rankings show an overall trend of improvement among electronics companies to address conflict minerals in their supply chains, but less progress in other industries, including jewelry, automotive, and industrial machinery. The progress has been spurred by the conflict minerals provision in the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, as well as by growing consumer activism.

"Much of the progress that has been made by electronics companies on conflict minerals can be attributed to direct consumer action. We are witnessing a mass consumer movement for the creation of a clean minerals sector in Congo. Not surprisingly, college students have emerged as the leading activists on this issue. Students from more than 100 college campuses across the U.S. and U.K. are advocating for their university's purchasing and investment policies to reflect company action on conflict minerals," said co-author of the report and Enough Project Student Coordinator Alexandra Hellmuth.

In addition to assessing electronics industry leaders and laggards, the report identifies three main areas of progress that have been made industry-wide—tracing, auditing, and certification—as well as significant gaps in conflict minerals policies that must be addressed.

“The progress made by the electronics companies in the Enough Project’s rankings now needs to be duplicated by companies in other sectors,” said Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw. “Companies in the jewelry, automotive, industrial machinery, and aerospace industries should join the Public Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade and begin direct sourcing programs to help Congo develop a clean minerals trade.”

Read the full report: “Taking Conflict Out of Consumer Gadgets: Company Rankings on Conflict Minerals 2012.” URL: http://www.enoughproject.org/files/CorporateRankings2012.pdf

View a slideshow of images from the report and eastern Congo. Photos are free for media use. Please credit the Enough Project. URL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/enoughproject/sets/72157631066700188/

View a new Enough Project video about conflict-free mining that features actor and ethical mining entrepreneur Jeffrey Wright. URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuBYxMsckfY&feature=youtu.be

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

[i] Motorola Solutions was not ranked in the Enough Project’s 2012 survey because the company split and is no longer producing one of the five key products included in the rankings. However, Motorola Solutions has been a prominent leader on tracing, auditing, and certification.

[ii] Although Apple ranked number eight in the Enough Project’s 2012 company rankings report, Apple has been an industry leader by being the first company to identify the number of its smelters and to require its suppliers to use only certified conflict-free smelters once audits are complete.

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