California Student Takes a Stand on Human Rights

May 15, 2013 3:00 PM ET

Human Rights across the global are in disarray, casting a heavy shadow on what freedom represents in the pursuit of profit.

Armed militia, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, breach Human Rights and monopolize the regions for Conflict Minerals, often referred to as the “3TG’s”: tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold. Citizens face sexual terrorism, genocides and human slavery to mine these black market minerals.

The crusade in the Congo has reached over 5.4 million civil deaths, quadrupling more deaths than any Historical American War combined, leaving a devastating aftermath in the eastern provinces of Africa. Time Magazine is noted for calling this the “Deadliest War in the World”.

Stances have been assembled against the genocides in Africa through social awareness and non-profit organizations. Recall the YouTube phenomenon KONY 2012 (launched by Invisible Children) that campaigned against the notorious African warlord Joseph Kony. The video went viral accumulating over 97 million views and inspiring thousands to rally in Washington D.C. in a movement of social activism.

The Enough Project, a reputable non-profit organization, demonstrates human rights initiatives focused deeply in Africa. The organization’s mission is posed with great conviction that individuals must demand change, adhering to global social responsibility. Consider the Enough Project’s Conflict Free Products Campaign, which encourages consumers to demand change from industries and in turn the industries will be influenced to meet the needs of their consumers – Conflict Free Products.

With Conflict Minerals heavily rooted in our every day products the United States governement issued the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The bill requires all publicly traded American companies to report whether the minerals reside within their supply chain and if so to mitigate all use. It’s a challenging task displayed before manufactuers however there is light at the end of the tunnel.

That light leads to the Global Conflict Minerals Symposium. Industry leaders, NGO’s, Governmnent Officials, Members of the Canadian and EU Paraliment will be gathering this year on August 21-22 in Los Angeles, California to convene on sustainable business resolutions.

The student today will be the customer, employee and leader of tomorrow. As a student I hope my voice is heard: the “bottomline” for business cannot be separated from protecting the people of the world...


Jahara Singh

California State University San Marcos