Urge Senators to Cosponsor the Congo Conflict Minerals Act

What is the problem?
Demand for minerals found in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and used in everyday electronics products help finance armed groups who engage in violent struggle. The minerals in question are cassiterite (tin ore), gold, coltan [tantalum] and wolframite (a source of tungsten).

What would the Congo Conflict Minerals Act of 2009 (S.891) do?
If passed, this bill would provide the authority and direction for the United States government to help ensure that the mineral trade stops contributing to human rights violations, including killings of unarmed civilians and sexual violence, while at the same time developing mechanisms to allow the Congolese people to benefit from these resources. The bill demands greater transparency and accountability from all companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges – including major electronics companies which are among the largest end-buyers of some of these minerals would have to disclose the origin of their supplies to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. For those minerals coming from Congo or neighboring countries, companies would need to disclose the precise mine of origin. Although the bill does not include a requirement that companies submit independent audits of their supply chains, it is a valuable first step toward greater transparency.

What can I do?
Call or write your Senators and urge them to cosponsor the Congo
Conflict Minerals Act of 2009. Send an email to your Senator. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and
ask for your senators' offices.

Learn more about the bill.

How are Presbyterians engaged with our sisters and brothers in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Presbyterians have been involved in ministry with the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo for over a century. William Sheppard, an early Presbyterian mission co-worker, is remembered for his advocacy on behalf of the Congolese people as he publicly spoke out against the abuses against the people as the Belgian King Leopold I pursued the region's rubber.

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program provides prayers for the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Presbyterian Women Palm Project is a new mission program in which groups or individuals can make donations for the establishment of palm plantations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Presbyterians support health and development ministries in the country. The Congo Mission Network is a grass-roots organization sponsored by the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A) that seeks to partner with the Presbyterian Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Presbyterian Church of Kinshasa to help the Congolese people improve their lives.

This posting draws heavily on the work of the Presbyterian Washington Office.

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