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Guest Thinkers

Conflict Minerals: Blood in Your Gadget

Rare earth minerals crucial to the operation of laptops, cellphones and iPods are mined from conflict areas like the Congo where profits from resource extraction fund civil wars.

Tin, tantalum and tungsten—oh my! “These ‘Three T’s’ and gold are essential to the technology industry—but are also notorious among human rights groups. For years, warlords in eastern Congo have mined and sold the minerals to finance brutal conflicts and sexual violence. ‘Rebel militias are making hundreds of millions of dollars off these materials—materials that go mainly into electronics,’ says Sasha Lezhnev of The Enough Project, a branch of the Center for American Progress that works to end genocide.”


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