Dear Securities Exchange Committee of the United States of America:
Our Country is founded on the principle that "all men (HUMANS) are created equal". If we are knowingly complicit in the slavery of any human, we negate the value of everyone who has ever sacrificed their life for the freedom we enjoy in America.
Regarding DF Title XV Specialized Disclosures:
The recent passage of the Conflict Minerals Act is an important first step in ensuring that U.S. consumers won't take part in fueling the deadliest conflict on earth. By making the supply chains of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold more transparent, American consumers will be able choose to support companies that take steps to ensure their products are conflict-free, and also free of slavery and other extreme human rights abuses.
The Congo has been enslaving humans for hundreds of years. Free the Slaves and human rights organizations in Congo have documented abuses against miners in Congo, including forced labor, debt bondage, and hazardous child labor. Other forms of slavery like the use of child soldiers and the prostitution of children also exist in mining areas.
The last slave ship to America in 1858 brought men, women and children from the Congo to Georgia and South Carolina. It took those people 7 years and the bloody American Civil War to see freedom on our shores, but their descendants are STILL left a legacy of suffering. The Conflict Minerals Act can begin this most important work - exposing the hidden fact that American consumers are participating in slavery to this day. No individual with any sort of moral compass would want to willingly do that. It is vital to humankind that you expose this veiled fact. It is a gift to all of us who wish to see all people free and a step forward in the evolution of humanity.
The new law requires companies to disclose "due diligence on the source" of conflict minerals originating in the DRC. 15 U.S.C. 78m (p)(1)(A)(i). Due diligence on the source of these minerals must be defined to include a description of efforts to monitor the source of the supply chain for forms of modern slavery and other extreme violations of human rights.
Thank you for working to bring slavery to an end.
Chris Saxon Koelker