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Write to your MP
Write to your MP to ask him or her to encourage the UK government, as a major power and an international aid donor, to exert pressure on mining and phone companies, the Congolese governments and other governments in the region, so that they abide by the due diligence standards set out by the UN and the OECD.
Download a template letter to MPs, edit it as you will, add the salutation to your MP and your details, and send it off.
The WriteToThem website has information about how to identify and contact your MP, MEP, member of devolved administration, local councillor, or even Lord. You can also follow a link to TheyWorkForYou to find out more about your MP’s interests. It always helps to know whether they have spoken on an issue and how they have voted in the past, in order to target and personalise your communication.
Write to phone companies
We are working on a template letter to phone companies asking them to use conflict-free minerals in their supply-chains. In the meantime, here is a petition to sign and some information about the other companies with the biggest market share.
Sign this petition asking Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc, to “make a conflict-free product that includes minerals from eastern Congo”. See also Apple’s policy on Sourcing conflict-free materials.
Samsung has taken some steps to endeavour that their mobile phones do not contain materials derived from illegally mined Congolese coltan. Unfortunately, this involves avoiding the Congo altogether. Ask Samsung to make a conflict-free product that includes minerals from the Congo.
Nokia appears to be leading the field in participating in the OECD Due Diligence for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and joining the Solutions for Hope initiative to enable validated conflict-free minerals from the Congo to be used in its products. Write to Nokia to applaud their actions so far, and encourage them to keep going further.
The Blackberry manufacturer is not far behind Nokia. Write to RIM to applaud their actions so far, and encourage them to keep going further.
HTC has no obvious supply chain policy. Ask HTC to develop a policy on conflict-free supply chain, and to make a conflict-free product that includes minerals from the Congo.
Run a campaign in your own organisation
Be inspired by the powerful demand from students at the University of St Andrews in Scotland to the technology companies that supply their university: “It’s time for a conflict free guarantee!”