February 15-19: Take Action to Stop the Flow of Conflict Minerals

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Child labourers at a cassiterite (tin oxide mineral) mine in Numbi, South Kivu, April 2009. Copyright Amnesty International

Child labourers at a cassiterite (tin oxide mineral) mine in Numbi, South Kivu, April 2009. Copyright Amnesty International

Next week, activists like you are mobilizing across the country to push the House of Representatives to move forward on an important piece of legislation: the Conflict Minerals Trade Act (H.R. 4128).

The Conflict Minerals Trade Act was introduced a few months ago by Congressman Jim McDermott to improve transparency and reduce the trade in conflict minerals coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country where millions of people have died due to an armed conflict. H.R. 4128 would greatly advance the goals of regulating and stemming the flow of conflict minerals, thereby limiting the ability of armed groups to benefit from conflict minerals and perpetuate the conflict. This bill is a great step towards reducing human rights abuses and supporting peace and security in the DRC.

The bill is currently being reviewed by the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. It is especially important for the bill to garner greater support and more co-sponsors so that it can move forward and we need your help.

There are several ways you can get involved to help Amnesty push this legislation forward. We have an online action up on our website, where you can directly email your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor the Conflict Minerals Trade Act.

You can also use these talking points and schedule an in-person meeting or a phone call with your Representative. Next week, all Representatives will be working from their districts instead of in Washington DC, so this is a perfect time to do this!

This groundbreaking bill would enable the United States to take effective action to protect the rights of the people of the DRC by ensuring that the trade in minerals does not perpetuate conflict. Join Amnesty International and other organizations including the Enough Project next week to ensure that your Congressman or Congresswoman supports the Conflict Minerals Trade Act.