I’ve been incredibly frustrated with the computer industry’s response to my inquiries. I have hit a wall in my research, with little place left to go at this level. I have talked to the people at the companies who are responsible for dealing with human rights inquiries and they have all told me all the information they are willing to give. Their information has left me with many further questions and inquiries into how they are planning to change the problem in the future, and waiting on them to actually implement the changes voluntarily. This could take forever and I’m not willing to wait anymore.
The information they have shared is scary. It’s scary because it makes plain that these abuses are possibly happening in the manufacture of every modern electronics device and possibly far beyond this to include many other metal products that most North Americans use every single day.
Think about this for a moment. How many electronic devices do you have in your home? How many computers, laptops, cameras, cell phones, game consoles, etc. do you own? How many will you go through in the next 5 years? Each of these products has touched war. They have allowed human beings to be slaughtered, raped, enslaved, abused… They have allowed children to be recruited as soldiers, and forced them to grow up with violence all around them. How can any of these companies claim ethical purchasing policies at all? Why are they not responsible for ensuring their own product line is not causing human rights abuses in other parts of the world? Why are they allowed to sidestep legalities for profit? There is something seriously wrong with the world.
Some companies have taken baby steps to change, but everything is so disconnected that it is next to impossible to prove or disprove anything or to allow for complete change overnight.
My new goal has become to go to the higher source. To go to the metal companies that supply the computer and electronics industries with raw materials for manufacture. I think that these have more of a possibility for answers and success. Voluntary cooperation is not going to stop this violence.
I strive for regulation in the manufacture and extraction of raw materials, so that companies and unknowing consumers are not supporting war in another part of the world. There is no reason this type of violence should continue. There is no reason that we should unknowingly be supplying warlords with massive profits or weapons and allowing them to continue their violence. We need to stop fueling them with money and weapons– otherwise we are are partially guilty of the violence. We need to change our own ways, and voice our opinions to the companies and governments responsible.
Genocide is happening, and we are all part of it. The time has come to stop, and it will not happen through peacekeeping or UN efforts alone. This is only responding to the manifestations and not the underlying causes of the violence. YOU need to change. YOU need to become aware. YOU need to speak your mind to the companies and governments who allow this continue. YOU need to be aware that every time you purchase metals, you might be causing death and destruction through your purchases.
It is an uncomfortable thought, I know, but the longer we go on ignoring the problem– the longer it will continue. Please speak out against the abuses in the production of our luxuries and strive to make real change.