No one Should Kill or Die for my Smartphone

Even though I have a fair amount of gadgets (MacBook Pro, G1 smartphone, Lumix camera, Flip, the list goes on…), I have not done a great job tracking the impact of buying and using them. Well, it’s time for me to make sure that my enjoyment of these things doesn’t cost other people their lives.

I just got to see this new video explaining the problem of “conflict minerals” in my electronic devices:

This video is from Raise Hope for Congo, a group working to end the long-running war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A war whose course is shaped by the ability of armed people to enslave people to extract highly-profitable minerals that Western companies buy and use in our phones and gadgets. There are some great resources to explain the connection, including a recent NY Times editorial and this resource page on the raisehopeforcongo.org site.

I’ve taken the pledge to stop my purchasing of devices unless I can get them conflict-free.

If my smartphone dies before a new, conflict-free Android phone is out, this should get interesting for me. But as much as I love having fun with my smartphone, no one should be killing or dying for me to have it.

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