Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

03 April 2009

Cell Phones, Conflict Minerals, and the Worst Sexual Violence in the World

"Our insatiable demand for electronic products such as cell phones and laptops is helping fuel waves of sexual violence in a place that most of us will never go, affecting people most of us will never meet. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the scene of the deadliest conflict globally since World War II. There are few other conflicts in the world where the link between our consumer appetites and mass human suffering is so direct."

This article sums up the forces behind the 200-year-old war raging in Africa's Great Lakes region. While I may not agree with all John Prendergast's proposed actions to combat the abuse, I do admire him for actually doing something.

Where he proposes:
  1. Contact the largest makers of cell phones, portable music players, digital cameras, PCs, and video games, and urge them to sign the pledge.
  2. Commit to only purchasing electronics from firms that have taken and are abiding by the conflict minerals pledge.
  3. Educate fellow consumers and activists about the crisis in Congo, the role of conflict minerals, and how they can be a part of the solution.
I would substitute with:
  1. Boycott all producers or electronic goods. If you must own a cellphone, buy second-hand.
  2. Only purchase second-hand electronic products so as not to add to the burden on the earth of producing these items.
  3. Educate people about the crisis in Congo, the role of conflict minerals, and how they can help tear down western civilisation.

1 comment:

  1. Do SOMETHING FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONGO: help put pressure on president Kabila, the Congolese government and the Congolese Parliament to take urgent action to compensate victims of sexual violence crimes in East of DR Congo. The petition can be signed at