Modern Slavery in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – and elsewhere

I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.
George Washington

Many of us consider slavery as an evil of a bygone age, abolished a couple of centuries  or more ago. There are however more people living in slavery today than the total number of people taken from Africa to America in the slave trade between the 17th and 19th centuries.

One of the places where modern slavery flourishes is the Democratic Republic of the Congo where in the bloodiest conflict since world war 2 over 5 million people have died as a result of conflicts between the government and rebel forces.

Where the government is not in control local people are intimidated, sexually abused and forced to work in the tantalum mines – Slavery. The proceeds are then used to finance further conflict. Tantalum is a mineral used in many devices of modern technology such as your mobile phone. Most electronics devices contain minerals that originate in the mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, referred to as“conflict minerals.”

In fact 85 percent of tantalum comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Many big electronics companies have already taken steps to get rid of conflict minerals in their supply chain: Intel recently announced that all of their new microprocessors will be free of conflict minerals with Chief Executive Brian Krzanich urging the “entire industry” to follow suit.

But Nintendo continues to lag behind and has yet to join the electronics industry audit program for conflict-free smelters nor has it required its suppliers to use only conflict-free smelters – the bare minimum requirement for taking action on conflict minerals.

Please take time to watch the video below and take action either by clicking the link in the video or the link which follows below calling on Nintendo to take the first step toward ensuring their products are free of conflict minerals mined with slavery by auditing their supply chain according to industry standards and making this information public.

If you do not need to watch the film for any reason you can access the petition by clicking this link and scrolling down to Take Action Nintendo: Slavery is not a Game and click Act Now.

The petition is simple requiring only a few details.

I admit that I knew virtually nothing about this country or the terrible consequence of these conflicts, the fight for control of the Tantalum mines and the tragic  loss of life in yet another struggle between greedy war mongering governments and rebel forces and those who wish to accrue wealth at the expense of other people to extract this lucrative mineral.

Though I knew so little  about the shocking incidence of slavery in Democratic Republic of the Congo  from time to time I have come across mention on the internet by way of petitions, but as far as I am aware nothing much elsewhere, absolutely no mention in the media here in the UK. How can such appalling treatment of other human beings take place day in and day out and there is no action to prevent this and barely any mention in the mainstream media.


Slavery is a serious problem world-wide yet few are aware of its existence.

Twenty-nine million people world-wide are living in modern day slavery:

Including here in the UK:

Please click the following link to commit to mobilising governments, businesses and communities to end modern slavery:

More detailed information about Slavery in the Democratic republic of the Congo

“Slavery is calling for its own end. We must answer that call.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Lets not overlook the more subtle forms of slavery such as here in the UK the government’s Work Fare schemes based on the threat of losing benefit for non compliance with being forced to work thirty hours each week for no pay.

Or the even less obvious wage slavery, the enslavement of millions of people by big corporations for a subsistence wage which to my mind amounts to slavery.

Are you a Wage Slave:

Or the new prison slavery:
The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery

Or the slavery of animals:
“One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.”
Martin Luther King Jr. – not sure how animals are enslaved be sure to click this link:

But these are subjects for another post. Though it should be said that one should not make comparisons regarding degree of injustice. Obviously being forced to work in the mines in the Congo at gun point is worse then being forced to work for nothing stacking shelves here in the UK. However all are social injustices as we all value our freedom and the degree of severity of slavery is little compensation to those who have to spend their lives enslaved to others. Animals too wish to lives their own lives as nature intended and while many will not agree with me to enslave any creatures is unjust and unethical.


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