Putting an End to Conflict Minerals
To whom it may concern: We would first like to begin by properly introducing ourselves. We are currently a group of Seniors attending Immaculata La Salle High School---an institution located in Miami, FL--- with the sole purpose of protecting human rights. Due to our recent discovery of a grave issue, we found it most imperative to take action and contact you from our behalf and those who cannot do so themselves. As of now we are currently working toward bringing awareness and information to people around our community on the alarming effect our technology is causing in other countries. If your incredibly occupied life had caused you to forget what exactly it is that we're referring to we'll take a quick moment to remind you. You see a disturbing story hides beneath the sleek exterior of the technology you produce. As if you didn't know the production of the electronics we use requires the mining of raw materials. Four of these materials are high-value minerals: gold and the “3Ts” – tungsten, tin, and tantalum (refined coltan). Which without the latter minerals technology would basically be useless. All of these resources are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where militant groups smuggle and tax the appropriately-named “conflict minerals,” drawing in $183 million yearly to fund their violent operations. Ring a bell yet? Since 1996, more than 5.4 million people have died as a result of ethnic warfare and struggles for the Congo’s wealth of resources. Militias such as the FDLR, which profit from the illegal sale of gold and the 3Ts, terrorize miners into laboring for them – raping local women and girls, and killing those who refuse to work. If workers are paid, the average is $1 to $5 a day, and conditions are dangerous and inhumane. Child labor is frequently employed. With every new technological appliance you purchase, the lives of millions are at risk, and you continuously contribute to the blood shed of a nation. Due to your crucial role in this issue and direct association with the problem, we urge you to take action and stand up for what's right and be a voice for those who cannot be heard. Sign our petition and join us in the effort to put pressure on companies and put an end to conflict minerals!