Over the past three years, teams of business persons, government officials, and civil society members have been traveling to mines in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to assess whether or not the mines are conflict-free. Out of a total 180 mines assessed so far, 141 have now been validated as conflict-free. Read More »
On Thursday 18th June 2015, Kingtson-Upon-Hull became the first city in the UK to pass a conflict-free resolution. In this guest blog post, campaign leader Mike Riley recounts the process of assembling a student-led campaign, presenting to the council, and ultimately passing a resolution. Read More »
The Enough Project’s Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) draws on the power of student leadership to support peace efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo). CFCI students lead targeted activism campaigns aimed at addressing key impediments to peace, including the deadly conflict mineral trade. As a Campus Organizer for CFCI, you will be an essential part of strengthening the conflict-free movement on your campus. APPLY NOW!Read More »
Several Members of Parliament from the Democratic Republic of Congo declared last week in an open letter to President Obama the need for a new U.S. Special Envoy to Congo and the Great Lakes Region. They join NGOs, members of Congress, and Congolese experts in their call for Secretary of State John Kerry to swiftly fill the vacancy. Read More »
Today marks the deadline for publicly traded companies in the United States to disclose the potential presence of conflict minerals in their supply chains, and what they’re doing about it. While many positive trends are emerging, implementation of Dodd-Frank 1502 is still in its nascent stages and there are many improvements still to be made. As Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Sakahrov Prize Winner Dr. Denis Mukwege stated: "A conflict-free minerals industry would contribute to ending the unspeakable violence the people of Congo have endured for years."Read More »
$4 Million Annual Electronics Purchase Policy to Support Peace in Congo
May 21, 2015 - Student activists are celebrating the announcement from Brandeis University of a new policy to ensure computers and other electronic equipment they purchase are not connected to killing, child abductions, and sexual violence in the mining sector of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Spurred by an international student movement called the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, the procurement policy requires that the makers of all of the university's most commonly purchased electronic equipment be surveyed to determine possible connections to illegal mining and smuggling in eastern Congo by violent armed groups.
Annie Callaway, Senior Advocacy Associate at the Enough Project, said: "The Brandeis resolution shows how far the conflict-free movement has come. Brandeis is the 19th school worldwide to change its procurement policy to favor companies working to make their products conflict-free and support the livelihoods of Congolese miners and their communities. Thanks to the hard work of students leading the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative at Brandeis, the university has taken an important extra step by committing to survey companies on their conflict mineral policies. This proactive industry engagement by Brandeis will further amplify the call for products made with conflict-free minerals sourced from eastern Congo.”
Gina Gkoulgkountina, Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) student leader at Brandeis, said: "After 3 years working to pass a conflict-free procurement resolution, I am proud to see Brandeis joining the growing community of schools actively supporting peace in Congo. Working with the Library and Technology Services, procurement and administration staff to achieve this has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I am confident Brandeis will implement this critical policy in a thorough, responsible manner."
Lisa M. Lynch, Ph.D., Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis University, said: "From the founding of the university, a special characteristic of Brandeis students has been how profoundly they care about people around the world and take action to address problems faced by the most vulnerable. Today, I am extremely proud of our students and their initiative to address the human tragedies caused by conflict minerals. After advocacy by our students who are involved with the Enough Project, our policy committee voted unanimously to ask the suppliers of our most commonly purchased and leased electronic items (desktop and laptop computers, printers, scanners, and copiers) to show due diligence in auditing the sources and provenance of potential conflict minerals in their supply chain."
Brandeis spends an estimated $4 million annually on computers and other products that are potentially affected by the new “conflict-free” policy. The resolution builds momentum for statewide conflict minerals legislation in Massachusetts.
For media use, short version: "The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention research and policy group."
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research in conflict zones, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. For more information, visit www.EnoughProject.org
ABOUT THE CONFLICT-FREE CAMPUS INITIATIVE
An initiative of the Enough Project’s “Raise Hope for Congo” campaign, the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) draws on the power of student leadership and activism to help support peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By encouraging university officials and stakeholders - both of whom are large purchasers of electronics and powerful spokespersons - to commit to measures that pressure electronics companies to responsibly invest in the minerals sector, students are voicing the demand for conflict-free products from Congo. Comprehensive reform is needed in Congo to bring about sustainable peace - now is the time is for students to lead the conflict-free movement. Join us: www.raisehopeforcongo.org/campus
Russ Feingold was the highest-level U.S. envoy ever deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Today, two months after Feingold’s resignation to run for Senate, the pressure is mounting on Secretary of State John Kerry to appoint a new, high-level Special Envoy.NGOs, Members of Congress, and Congo experts are all weighing in on the conversation. The United States must swiftly appoint a new envoy whose credentials and position within the State Department’s hierarchy mirror those of Feingold. A name has emerged as a frontrunner in the Congo coalition community: former Congressman Tom Perriello. Read More »
The recently released report indicates that the LRA’s fighting capacity is dropping, and while killings are fewer, attacks and abductions have increased - in 2014, total LRA attacks rose 10% and abductions 32% compared to 2013. Read More »