The section relating to conflict materials and the DRC can be found here: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: page 838, section 1502.
Here's a quick summary of the main points (copied from the Wikipedia page - thanks to the person who did this work so I didn't have to!):
Disclosures on Conflict Materials in or Near the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
- The SEC is mandated to create rules that address potential conflict materials (e.g. blood diamonds) and to assess whether materials originating in or near the Democratic Republic of the Congo are benefiting armed groups in the area.
- The Secretary of State and Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development are required to develop a strategy to address the linkages between human rights abuses, armed groups, mining of conflict minerals, and commercial products, and promoted peace and security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- An industry group has complained that the legislation goes beyond voluntary industry initiative such as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
- The United Nations Security Council committee charged with overseeing conflict minerals issues reported that this legislation was a "catalyst" for efforts to save lives by cutting off a key source of funding for armed groups.
But is this regulation also going to prevent people from earning the little money that they earned before to feed their families and survive? By technically boycotting the many mines in the DRC, are we not putting thousands of people out of work? How is this going to stop the warlords selling the minerals to countries who don't really care about how many people died to obtain them (yes China, I am referring to you)?
In theory I completely agree with the Act, and see it as a huge step in the right direction, and will continue to believe in this. However, it is only a STEP in my opinion, and we need to continue working on this, making sure that this does what it is supposed to: positively affect the individuals who up until now have been working under slave labour conditions so that we over here in the Western world can enjoy our laptops and cell phones.
It's NEVER OK for a child to be working in a mine, for any reason whatsoever, right? Just like it is NEVER OK for a child to carry a gun and to rape and kill people under command. We all agree on that - so why not all agree n doing something to help (see links below on what you can do).
Please read the following articles to gain more insight (and conflicting opinions and views) on the whole subject. Make sure to scroll down and read the comments too, as these are, in my opinion, the most important part in Sasha Lezhnev's article.
Insightful article on how the Act negatively affects the Congo:
David Aronson (new York Times): How Congress Devastated Congo
Enough Project's response in favour of the Act (read the comments too!):
Sasha Lezhnev (Huffington Post): What Conflict Materials Legislation Is Actually Accomplishing in Congo
Enough Project have been doing some amazing work in the DRC. Check out the website to see what you can do to help.
Raise Hope For Congo is Enough Project's campaign for Congo. Visit the site for more information.
And go HERE to contact your member of Congress and ask them to speak up about conflict mineral regulations.