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Advocates ignored evidence on conflict minerals

Leading non-profits advocating against conflict minerals in Congo have ignored evidence that the policies they pushed for harmed artisanal miners.

For several years, leading academics and independent journalists have criticised a 2010 US law against conflict minerals. They’ve shown it had negative impacts on Congolese livelihoods and lacked effectiveness in bringing conflict to an end. Yet, despite the mounting evidence that this law, Section 1502 of the Dodd Frank Act, has neither been as effective nor as harm-free as desired, the campaigning organisations that campaigned to pass this law have barely acknowledged its pitfalls.

I’ve interviewed over 20 people for this article, in particular those working inside the non-profits. They’ve told me about the internal culture of their organisations and how those led them to continue pushing for the conflict mineral law, despite its negative effects.

Please read the article on IRIN News.

It’s the second in this series, the prior article looked at how a “conflict-free” mine forced miners to sell their produce at a discounted price, and they were sent to jail when they protested.