Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

The U.S. government estimates that 4 in 10 children between the ages of 10 and 14 work in the DRC. Agriculture, fishing, mining, begging and prostitution are just some of the areas that children can be found working in.

Human Rights Watch’s Jo Becker: The U.S. Can Do More to Keep Children Off the Battlefield

October 25, 2012

[This blog originally appeared on the Huffington Post on 10/04/2012]

President Barack Obama announced on Friday that, for the second year in a row, it was withholding portions of U.S. military assistance from the Democratic Republic of Congo because of its continued use of child soldiers. The U.S. also said it wouldn’t train a Congolese light infantry battalion until Congo signed an action plan with the United Nations to end its use of child soldiers. U.S. officials have repeatedly urged the Congolese government to address the issue.

The pressure seems to be working. After seven years of foot-dragging, today Congo finally signed the U.N.… Read the rest


President Issues Child Soldier Waivers

September 28, 2012

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
September 28, 2012

Presidential Memorandum — Presidential Determination with respect to the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

SUBJECT: Determination with Respect to the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008

Pursuant to section 404 of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA) (title IV, Public Law 110-457), I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to Libya, South Sudan, and Yemen; and further determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive in part the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to allow for continued provision of International Military Education and Training funds and nonlethal Excess Defense Articles, and the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales of U.S.… Read the rest


SEC Adopts Reporting Rule to Help with Human Rights Issues Concerning Conflict Minerals

August 29, 2012

The primary mission of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is to protect investors from unfair or unscrupulous practices. Last week, however, the SEC did something remarkable: It agreed to adopt a rule with the goal of diminishing the human rights consequences of business practices.

The SEC voted by a narrow 3-2 margin to require companies that use so-called “conflict minerals”—metals like gold, tantalum, tin, and tungsten which end up in a wide array of products like cell phones, computers and other electronic devices—to file reports about the use of minerals that have been fueling violent conflict and abetting widespread social abuses like the use of child soldiers.… Read the rest


DR Congo: Hoping for a Brighter Future

May 14, 2012

By Christian Kilundu [from World Vision—A CLC member]

He was in primary school when he first met the rebels. They arrived and promised big salaries. The poverty and insecurity the children lived in could be escaped, they swore.

Of course, once inside the rebel group, life wasn’t as it was promised.

In the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), rebels continue to recruit children into their fighting parties as a war continues to unfold against the country’s army. In the 15 years of fighting, an estimated 5 million people have been killed, and more than 1.7 million have fled the area.… Read the rest


New Law Aims To Shine Light On Conflict Metals

December 20, 2011

By: Michele Kelemen

December 20, 2011

Delly Mawazo Sesete wants American consumers to know what is in their smart phones, computers and other electronics and where U.S. companies like Apple are getting those rare metals.

Sesete says that, without knowing, consumers in the U.S. could be fueling conflicts in Eastern Congo. The human rights activist is from a remote part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where armed groups are wreaking havoc and get much of their funding from mining rare metals.

“All the money that armed groups get from that exploitation is used to buy weapons and other ammunition so that they may cause injury to people … men slaughtered, pillage, rape of women and young girls,” he says.… Read the rest