March 23, 2017
Dear Commissioner Piwowar,
My name is Jane Dimnwaobi and I am a concerned student, consumer, and advocate focused on raising awareness around the issue of conflict minerals originating from eastern DRC. These conflict minerals procured by companies in the electronics and jewelry industry are a significant source of funding for armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and are contributing to the ongoing violence in the countrys eastern region.
As a junior at Boston University, I have been exposed to many students who understand the value of human rights, both in the United States and abroad. As a Student Government Representative, the founder of a human rights coalition, and an advocate for conflict-mineral free products with the Enough Project, I have vast experience navigating channels of student and administrative action in the hopes of improving policy. In the last year, I have organized many on-campus activities which have brought to light the roles of individuals and procurement policies at Boston University, in the conflict mineral trade, and in changing the system of violence.
Tin, tungsten, tantalum (the 3Ts) and gold – known collectively as conflict minerals –are minerals found in all of our consumer electronics, jewelry, automotive, and other products. These minerals are also found in abundance in the DRC. Conflict minerals have fueled and continue to help sustain armed violence in the DRC: armed groups exploit mining areas, extract these minerals, and sell them on the international market, keeping the profits to continue funding their violent campaigns. The most effective tactic to combat this violence is increasing pressure on electronics companies, which is only effective through SEC regulations outlined in Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. To mandate that these companies report their products as DRC conflict-free or not DRC conflict-free ensures that, over time, those same companies, and consumers, can track their progress towards a conflict-mineral free future.
Commissioner, for stability in the DRC and increased responsibility in the conflict mineral trade, I implore you you retain the Conflict Minerals Rule, as well as work with your fellow SEC commissioners to enforce the Rule moving forward.