HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Green Scene
Congo Mining Abuses Prompting SEC Regulations
10/17/2011

Mining of materials for electronics in the Congo is notorious for human rights abuses. 
(Photo courtesy of New School Thoughts on Africa.)
Mining of materials for electronics in the Congo is notorious for human rights abuses.
(Photo courtesy of New School Thoughts on Africa.)

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Greg Stirling
User Rank
Platinum
Congo Mining Abuses Prompting SEC Regulations
Greg Stirling   10/17/2011 4:01:33 PM
NO RATINGS
I'm not big on regulations, but we all know about the human rights abuses surrounding diamonds in South Africa.  We could expect the same with any precious or semi-precious rescource.  Probably best to regulate and keep an eye on this and deal with the black market that will follow...

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
mining abuses
William K.   10/18/2011 11:03:07 AM
NO RATINGS
HOW ABOUT AN alternative of tlling what non conflict country the materials mcome from?

RadioGuy
User Rank
Gold
Diamonds - South Africa is not the problem
RadioGuy   10/18/2011 1:07:44 PM
NO RATINGS
With respect to diamonds, the "conflict diamonds" come not from South Africa but from Sierra Leone. As disgusting as you may find the South African mines, those are the good workplaces compared to what goes on in West Africa.

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Congo Mining Abuses Prompting SEC Regulations
Jack Rupert, PE   10/18/2011 4:55:32 PM
NO RATINGS
Not a fan of more SEC reporting with a lot of useless additional paperwork.  If the government thinks it should be influencing the inner politics of other nations where it does not affect the US (and that's a big "if") it should be doing so on the international relations level and not forcing individual companies to try to implement its policies.  Now maybe there could be tariffs or reporting policies for the first level suppliers (i.e., the guys who actually buy the raw material and turn it into something), but trying to keep a paper trail for every level down the road sounds a bit much.

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Raw material regulation
Tim   10/18/2011 9:28:11 PM
NO RATINGS
For many years, woodworkers have looked to replenished farmed forests for rare woods like teak.  This has mostly been done to avoid overharvesting and extinction of teak as a species.  I would hope that other manufacturers would be willing to look at sources of raw materials to ensure that the purchase would not benefit to any warring parties.  A global economy is a big responsibility, and I hope we can handle it. 

ChuckBlakeman
User Rank
Iron
Re: Raw material regulation
ChuckBlakeman   10/22/2011 12:13:14 AM
NO RATINGS


Our Congo-based company works with Congolese tribes to help them export without a dime going to conflict groups. Dodd-Frank has been disastrous for them.

I challenge the supporters to take a poll of those they are supposedly trying to protect. The response would tell them that, while Dodd-Frank was well-meaning, it is an unmitigated disaster in practice. COCABI, COMIMPA and COMIDER represent 20,000 miners in the conflict area.  They all say they’ve never even been contacted. 


While all the NGOs and politicians are quoting each other’s support of this, we are quoting chiefs and tribes who are actually being affected by it, all of whom say it has been disastrous for them and their livelihood.  Doesn’t this say something very powerful to us?


Also, there are six regions from which Dodd-Frank minerals are mined, and only one of them has ever had anything to do with conflict. Dodd-Frank has put them all out of business before it is even enacted.  The World Bank says it has negatively affected 10 million Congolese.  If all Congo minerals came from criminals, then Dodd-Frank would make sense.  But the fact is that probably 1-3% of the affected minerals come from criminals, the rest are from honest, hard-working chiefs and their tribes, all of whom have lost their only source of income in the second poorest country on earth.


I was in Tanzania a few weeks ago to help a chief export his coltan using a visible, well-documented process that ensures not a dime goes to conflict. His people will go hungry because the smelters, citing Dodd-Frank, have vanished. The chief is devastated, as are the millions who find their meager livelihoods destroyed by this over-reaching act.


The issue with Dodd-Frank is that it is a nuclear option that demonizes minerals instead of criminals.  It’s no different than burning down every house in town to stop a burglar from stealing, who will simply steal from somewhere else.  Ludicrous.


Dodd-Frank has burned down the entire mining industry in the Congo in hopes that their scorched earth policy will catch a militia group in its path.  They are willing to take down every innocent man, woman, and child who live off mining. Such massive collateral damage is not acceptable under any circumstance.


Remove mining from the equation and the militia will exact its pound of flesh from the locals by other means. This should be handled by targeting militias, not mining. Dodd-Frank takes the route of universal collateral damage, which, before the bill is enacted, has already destroyed the livelihoods of the innocents who depend on it.

As Eric Kajemba, the leader of a civil-society group has said, “If the advocacy groups aren’t speaking for the people of eastern Congo, whom are they speaking for?”

 

Partner Zone
More Blogs from Green Scene
The steel industry argues that it is a strong anti-emissions material if you take into account the full lifecycle of a vehicle.
Ford has designed a small engine designed to lower emissions while boosting miles per gallon.
The CEA pounds California policymakers for proposing new regulations while the electronics industry is reporting gains in energy efficiency.
Congressman John Sarbanes has introduced a House bill that would seek innovative ways to recycle e-waste.
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 15 - 19, An Introduction to Web Application Security
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service