The epidemic of rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is strongly linked to the minerals that we in the U.S. use every day in our cell phones and laptop computers. The Massachusetts Senate bill S2463, if enacted into law during this informal session, will ensure that the Commonwealth does not purchase products containing minerals from militia-controlled mines that finance armed conflict or that lead to labor or human rights violations.
Below is a sample letter that you may mail or email to Speaker DeLeo and Chairman Dempsey asking them to advance S2463 Resolve Examining Commonwealth Procurement Policies Relative to Congo Conflict Minerals. The same letter may be sent to both individuals.
The Honorable Robert A. DeLeo, Speaker Chairman Brian Dempsey
Massachusetts House of Representatives House Committee on Ways and Means
State House, Room 356 State House, Room 243
Boston, MA 02133 Boston, MA 02133
Dear Speaker DeLeo and Chairman Dempsey: I am writing today to urge you to advance S2463 Resolve Examining Commonwealth Procurement Policies Relative to Congo Conflict Minerals which is currently before the House Committee on Ways and Means. A strong statement condemning the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this landmark piece of legislation will place Massachusetts in the forefront of efforts to end the conflicts and sexual violence that are devastating the country. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country that is extraordinarily rich in mineral resources. For the past twenty years, armies and militias have been fighting over this mineral wealth. This war is the world's deadliest conflict since World War ll. Over six million people have died and as many as two million women and girls have been raped as a result of the fighting - the eastern DRC has been called "the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman." There is an epidemic of rape in the DRC and it is connected to the minerals that we in the U.S. use every day in our cell phones and laptop computers. I believe that legislative action is one way to effectively address this horrific situation. S2463 calls for the analysis of policies to ensure that the Commonwealth does not purchase products containing minerals from militia-controlled mines that finance armed conflict or that lead to labor or human rights violations. The Commonwealth now has an opportunity to take action against the illicit Congo conflict minerals trade. We must continue our tradition of providing international leadership in the protection of human rights. Forty-eight local, national, and international organizations have endorsed the Congo Conflict Minerals legislation (among them Congo Action Now, Amnesty International USA, New England Congolese Women Association, Global Witness, Congolese Community of Massachusetts, Physicians for Human Rights, Our Bodies Ourselves, and Traprock Center for Peace and Justice). Please let me know if you have any questions about the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo or about S2463. Thank you for supporting this critical bill that can make a real difference in the lives of the Congolese people. Thank you!