Companies that use gold, tin, tungsten, or tantalum (coltan)—minerals used in just about any electronic gadget you can think of—are now required to disclose whether those materials originated in Congo or neighboring countries, where mining profits are used to perpetuate an ongoing conflict. Companies must report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and they must audit their reports to show proof of whether their supplies are sourced from conflict mines or not.
The Enough Project has more about the efforts that led to this victory, and describes the inclusion of this provision in the legislation as an important step forward, even if it is by no means all that needs to be done to end the war in Congo:
This new law — once it is signed by President Obama — begins to eliminate the source of funding that allows armed militias to continue to terrorize and humiliate communities, cause countless deaths, and commit widespread sexual violence and rape.
Stay tuned for news on how to stay involved in the issue and on how the new regulations are enforced—since laws on the books do not mean enforcement is flawless or without loopholes. But recognizing and taking responsibility here in the U.S. for our role in an ongoing, horrific conflict is certainly a good place to start.