chapter  17
6 Pages

Electronics industry

WithAlex Newton

Chapter 17 analyses a major issue confronting the electronics industry: the impacts on human rights of conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”). Conflict minerals – tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold, when sourced from the DRC – are a crucial component in capacitors for many popular electronic goods. In the DRC, these minerals have been associated with the decades-long civil war in which more than 5.4 million people have died. As Chapter 17 outlines, the civil war has been largely funded by rebel and government-backed militias which control many of the country’s mineral deposits. Egregious human rights violations have been connected to the militias’ activities, including murder, mass rape, torture, forced labour, and the conscription of child soldiers. The chapter also examines various attempts to combat the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals, and the human rights violations associated with them. Specifically, it discusses Section 1502 of the United States’ Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, its achievements and limitations, and recent uncertainty regarding its enforceability.