Amnesty International USA, Take Action! SEC: Companies Must Disclose Conflict Minerals in Their Products
I’m active in the Amnesty International USA group on my university campus, and I’m always looking for ways to be involved on a global level, without forking over money that I don’t have. This link will take you to the Amnesty page which has information about emailing the SEC to be accountable for human rights around the world.
Thanks to wikipedia for its infinite wealth of random information (this is my condensed version):
- Columbite-tantalite (or coltan, the colloquial African term) is the metal ore from which the element tantalum is extracted. [which is used in products ranging] from hearing aids and pacemakers, to airbags, GPS, ignition systems and anti-lock braking systems in automobiles, through to laptop computers, mobile phones, video game consoles, video cameras and digital cameras. As a result, it is used in jet engine/turbine blades, drill bits, end mills and other tools.
- Cassiterite is chief ore needed to produce tin, essential for the production of tin cans and solder on the circuit boards of electronic equipment. Tin is also commonly a component of biocides, fungicides and as tetrabutyl tin/tetraoctyl tin, an intermediate in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and high performance paint manufacturing.
- Wolframite is an important source of the element tungsten. Tungsten is a very dense metal and is frequently used for this property, such as in fishing weights, dart tips and golf club heads. [Also] in metalworking tools, drill bits and milling. Minimal amounts are used in electronic devices, including the vibration function of cell phones and Blackberries.
Don’t you want to know if your laptop or phone helped to promote armed conflict against civilians? How about the golf clubs you’re going to buy your husband for his birthday, the video game console your kid wants for Christmas, or the new GPS you want. If all companies had to label their products as to where they got their parts, wouldn’t you choose the product that didn’t fund the mass murder and rape of civilian populations?