By B.N. Frank
Metals required to operate common digital, electronic, and wireless devices are often referred to as “Conflict Minerals” because of well-known and widely reported environmental and humanitarian costs associated with mining for them. Some prominent tech companies are already being sued for business practices that have caused injuries and death to child and adult miners in the Congo. A Congolese mother and public advocate has been casting a wide net asking for help to stop this in her country.
From The Daily Record:
Women and children burnt to death, rape as a weapon of war, kids as young as five enslaved or accused of being witches and murdered with machetes.
This is the mind-bending reality of 21st century life in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Brave mum Terese Mema Mapenzi deals with the aftermath of these atrocities every single day.
She said: “We hope Scotland can help save us from this hell.”
Sexual violence counsellor Terese revealed how she deals with this daily onslaught of gang rape, castration, murder, child malnutrition and deadly disease – all directly linked to the explosion in our use of smartphones.
The Record went to the frontline in DRC with the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund.
We met the women whose lives have been torn apart in the battle for natural minerals essential for every text, tweet or post on social media we send via our mobile phones. Terese is the sexual violence programme lead for Sciaf’s partner Centre Olame.
She helps women and children who have suffered horrific sexual violence at the hands of rebel militias who fund their lawlessness by mining coltan.
Coltan is a conflict mineral – a substance mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, sold or traded by armed groups.
Most digital, electronic, and wireless devices aren’t safely recycled either and this leads to additional environmental and humanitarian devastation in the form of E-Waste wherever it is legally or illegally disposed.
Activist Post reports regularly about the biological, environmental, and humanitarian impacts of new technology. For more information, visit our archives.
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