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The Congo Connection between Slavery and Conflict Minerals [article & video]

Author: Tracy Fehr, Enough, Free the Slaves [USA], Published on: 7 July 2011

In eastern Congo today, the mines have become a source of not only conflict minerals, but also a source of human slavery. The mines of eastern Congo are run by multiple armed groups, many of whom have strategically attacked and raped civilians in order to gain control...Free the Slaves...released The Congo Report: Slavery in Conflict Minerals, which documents slavery in and around Congo’s mines...The report found several forms of slavery taking place, including the use of child soldiers, peonage, forced labor, sexual slavery, child slavery, and debt bondage. Some types of slavery are directly linked to the conflict such as the abduction of civilians for forced labor and sexual slavery, and others such as debt bondage and forced marriage are related to other factors including poverty and cultural norms. Child slavery is prominent among many of the armed groups and mining operations. As one NGO worker explained: “If you can’t afford to pay for workers, you’ll target children, who are most vulnerable and can be tempted into highly exploitative situations with the simple promise of a meal at the end of the day.” [includes video]

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