March 17, 2017
Dear Commissioner Piwowar,
I would like to express my strong support for the continued implementation of the Conflict Minerals Rule. As a consumer and student leader with the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) who advocates before the students and the school administration bodies to purchase only from companies that are deemed to manufacture conflict-free products, the Conflict Minerals Rule is critical to companies accountability and transparency in products that we carry.
Conflicts minerals commonly known as 3TGs (tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold ore), have been financing perpetually the war and its corollaries such as rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the last 20 years displacing and killing millions of individuals. As consumers of electronics and jewelry products, caring for humanity refers to ensuring that our purchases fund sustainable peace in Congo, not conflict. Since the implementation of The Dodd-Frank Act law, Section 1502 has been appreciated by international community advocates and inaudibly celebrated by the Congolese population and mining communities whom for the last century have been the victims of resource curse.
I would like to highlight some of the impacts this has had over the last 6 years: armed groups revenues have decreased by 65% and 79% of the mines are now working in conflict free conditions. We are deeply concerned about ending the kleptocracy in Congo while adopting policies that favor conflict-free products in our daily lives. As student leaders, our network achievements have been passing conflict-free resolutions in two dozen schools, many relying on the pertinent information disclosed in Conflict Minerals Rule filings in order to assess what particular companies are doing on this issue.
As consumers, we are concerned about what companies, we purchase from are doing to address the issue of conflict minerals. This requires the continued implementation of Dodd-Frank 1502 to access to information about the companies we purchase from and their mineral sourcing practices. We value transparency enacted by the Conflict Minerals Rule to ensure our products are not linked to atrocities against civilians by reporting procurement practices that contribute to the development of a conflict-free minerals trade and source conflict-free minerals from Congo and improve livelihoods for artisanal mining communities in eastern Congo.
I do believe that in the future the continued implementation of the Conflict Minerals Rule will help the products we consume carry the tag conflict-free as we dispose our money on firms that share our values. This would help companies in rebranding consumer values and corporate social responsibility and also will stop Congo from being referred to with adjectives such as Failed state, Kleptocracy and so on. As such, we urge you to keep the Conflict Minerals Rule fully intact, and to work with your fellow SEC commissioners to enforce the Rule moving forward.
Thank you for your consideration.
Joel Grace Muhigirwa