March 6, 2017
Dear Commissioner Piwowar,
I am writing not only as a consumer but as someone who has friends living in the Kivu province of DRCongo. I am expressing my support for the continued implementation of the Conflict Minerals Rule. Receiving that terrified email that militia are encroaching on friend's homes and cities, hearing the tragedy of friends displaced from their homes and their families separated made me want to make sure as a consumer, that I am able to purcase from companies that dont support militia bullying at mines in Congo. The human suffering is unimaginable when they use especially ugly forms of rape to separate husbands from wives and demoralize them beyond reconciliation. It is the worst weapon of war and no bargain electronics or jewelry is worth that human cost.
I do not want my purchases to support violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Conflict Minerals Rule has made it easier for me to assess which companies are taking steps to ensure their products are not linked to this decades-long conflict. 5 million prople have died in violence related to just this one region in Africa. Now 79% of mines are militia free in this region. This Rule is having a dramatic good effect. Additionally, I believe transparent supply chains are an important indicator of a companys overall stability and integrity, which is a key factor for making both purchasing and investment decisions.
I urge you to keep the Conflict Minerals Rule fully intact, and to work with your fellow SEC commissioners to enforce the Rule moving forward.