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It might be common knowledge that the ongoing conflicts in eastern Congo has dramatic effects on human rights, but actress Robin Wright says even our smart phones and household electronics are contributing to violence against Congolese women, and no one seems to know it.

“The minerals that are in our gadgets that we use everyday, every single one of us, our iPhones, our toasters, our computers, have this mineral that comes from the Congo,” says Wright, “and every 48 minutes a woman is being raped in and around these mines. It’s being going on for about six years.”

The profits from the sale of ores that produce the tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold that are used in digital devices is key for armed groups. It purchases the weaponry they use to secure the mines and trade routes, and to intimidate and brutalize civilians to control local populations. Wright has joined ENOUGH Project's RAISE Hope For Congo campaign to bring the cause some much needed attention, as well as solutions.

“It’s not about boycotting the products,” says Wright. “It’s about raising the awareness so that the electronic companies, i.e. Apple, [use] conflict free mineral products. It’s just like the dolphin-safe tuna, blood diamonds, it’s exactly the same thing.”

Wright’s suggestion for those wishing to help is to go to RAISE Hope For Congo’s website and send a prewritten message encouraging the biggest producers of these electronics “to take conflict out of their products”.

“If we can get Apple,” she says, “everyone will follow, the Blackberry, the Samsung.”

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