answer the discussion questions

answer the questions on the discussion, please. there are 5 questions answer them clearly. see the attached file.please do not do it as Essay. I need you to answer each question by order you put the qestion and the answer under it. do not use contractions when you write like ” don’t, can’t, couldn’t etc..”thank you
conflict_coltan_in_the_global_electronics_industry_supply_chain.docx

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Conflict Coltan in the Global Electronics Industry Supply
Chain
Most people have never heard of coltan, although it is an essential ingredient in
electronic products they use every day. Columbite- tantalite, or “ coltan” as it is
commonly known, is a black metallic ore. When refined, it produces tantalum, which
is used to regulate electric-ity in portable consumer electronics, such as smartphones,
laptops, play stations, and digi-tal cameras. The largest share of coltan comes from
Africa; other sources include Australia, Brazil, and Canada.
In the late 2000s, a common concern emerged among members of an oddly matched
group— the electronics industry, the United Nations, governments, and human rights
organizations. All wished to ban conflict coltan — ore that had been traded by
warring groups to fund horrific civil conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
( DRC). Their efforts led, ultimately, to a set of international guidelines, national laws,
and volun-tary initiatives whose goal was to keep the electronics industry and its
customers from inadvertently supporting killing, sexual assault, and labor abuses.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a nation of 71 million people in central
Africa, covering a vast region the size of Western Europe. Since the late 1990s, the
DRC has been the site of a brutal regional conflict, in which armed militias, including
some from neigh-boring states, have fought for control. Despite the presence of
United Nations troops, as many as 5 million people have died— the most in any
conflict since World War II. Warring groups have used sexual assault as a weapon to
control the population; an esti-mated 200,000 Congolese women and girls have been
raped, often in front of their husbands and families.
The United Nations and several NGOs reported that militias had systematically looted
coltan and other minerals from eastern Congo, using the profits to fund their
operations. According to the human rights group Global Witness:
In the course of plundering these minerals, rebel groups and the Congolese army have
used forced labor ( often in extremely harsh and dangerous conditions), carried out
systematic extortion, and imposed illegal “ taxes” on the civilian population. They
have also used violence and intimidation against civilians who attempt to resist
working for them or handing over the minerals they produce.
Said a representative of The Enough Project, another human rights group, “ In eastern
Congo, you see child miners [ with] no health or safety standards. Minerals are dug by
hand, traded in sacks, smuggled across borders.”
Once mined— whether in the Congo or elsewhere— raw coltan made its way
through a complex, multi- step global supply chain. Local traders sold to regional
traders, who shipped the ore to processing companies such as H. C. Starck (
Germany), Cabot Corpora-tion ( U. S.), and Ningxia ( China). Their smelters produced
refined tantalum powder, which was then sold to parts makers such as Kemet ( U. S.),
Epcos ( Germany), and Flextronics ( Singapore). They sold, in turn, to original
equipment manufacturers such as Dell ( U. S.), Sony ( Japan), and Nokia ( Finland).
By the time coltan reached the end of this convoluted supply chain, determining its
source was nearly impossible. The late Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, commented in
an e- mail in 2010, “ We require all of our suppliers to certify in writing that they use
conflict-free materials. But honestly there is no way for them to be sure. Until
someone invents a way to chemically trace minerals from the source mine, it’s a very
difficult problem.”
As public awareness of atrocities in the Congo grew, governments and companies
began to take action. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,
an alliance of mostly European nations, issued guidance for companies that wished to
responsibly source minerals. A group of electronics firms, collaborating under the
banner of the Elec-tronic Industry Citizenship Coalition ( EICC), developed a
Conflict- Free Smelter Assess-ment Program, a voluntary system in which an
independent third- party auditor would evaluate processors and designate them as “
conflict- free.” Minerals originating from responsibly operated mines would be “
bagged and tagged” and then tracked through each step of the supply chain.
In 2010, the U. S. Congress passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection
Act ( also known as the Dodd- Frank Act, and further discussed in Chapters 8 and 14).
This law included a provision, Section 1502, which required companies to disclose
whether certain minerals and metals used in their products, including tantalum, had
come from the DRC or adjoining countries. It was scheduled to go into effect in 2012.
Supporters said that by shining a spotlight on conflict minerals, this law would help
drive them out of the supply chain.
Others, however, thought the law could unintentionally hurt the very people it was
meant to help. A journalist traveling in eastern Congo posted this report in late 2011:
The smelting companies that used to buy from eastern Congo have stopped. No one
wants to be tarred with financing African warlords— especially the glamorous high-
tech firms like Apple and Intel that are often the ultimate buyers of these minerals.
It’s easier to sidestep Congo than to sort out the complexities of Congolese politics—
especially when minerals are readily available from other, safer countries. . . . For
locals, however, the law has been a catastrophe.
In an effort to address this concern, two companies, AVX and Motorola, joined forces
to create an initiative called Solutions for Hope. Their aim was to begin using coltan
from the DRC that could be verified as conflict- free, in order to support legitimate
exports from that nation as it struggled to recover from years of civil conflict. In one
of the first shipments, in late 2011, coltan was shipped from a licensed concession
holder in the DRC to a certi-fied conflict- free smelter in South Africa. During the
next year, the initiative planned audits by key stakeholders.
Despite progress on many fronts, some called for a higher level of collaboration
among companies, governments, and NGOs. The Enough Project said that the “
missing link” was a common certification program for conflict minerals. It called for a
“ high- level negotia-tion process . . . aimed at building multi- stakeholder consensus
for a scheme to unite cur-rent initiatives around common standards and certify
conflict- free minerals from Congo from mine to end product.”
Sources: Peter Eichstaedt, Consuming the Congo ( Chicago: Lawrence Hill, 2011);
Michael Nest, Coltan ( Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2011); “ EICC- GeSI ConflictFree Smelter ( CFS) Assessment Program,” January 30, 2012, at http:// solutionsnetwork . org/ site- solutionsforhope ; “ AVX Is Industry’s First to Guarantee ConflictFree Tantalum Capacitors,” Business Wire, December 14, 2011; “ Conflict Minerals:
Dodd- Frank Section 1502 and Proposed SEC Rule,” Ernst & Young, 2011; “ U. S.
Congo Policy: Matching Deeds to Words to End the World’s Deadliest War,” The
Enough Project, October 4, 2011, at www . enoughproject. org ; “ How Congress
Devastated Congo,” The New York Times, August 7, 2011; “ Conflict Minerals:
Genocide in Your Gadgets?” Christian Science Monitor, February 24, 2011; “ Conflict
Minerals Law Spotlights Electronics Supply Chain,” Electronics Design, Strategy,
News ( EDN), October 7, 2010; “ Tracing a Path Forward: A Study of the Challenges
of the Supply Chain for Target Markets Used in Electronics,” RESOLVE, April 2010,
at http:// eicc. info/ documents / RESOLVEReport4.10.10. pdf ; “ The New Blood
Diamonds,” Foreign Policy, January/ February 2010; and Global Witness, Faced with
a Gun, What Can You Do? July 2009, at www. globalwitness. org.
Discussion Questions
1. What is conflict coltan? What groups benefited from the trade in conflict coltan?
What groups were hurt by it?
2. What three sectors were concerned with the problem of conflict coltan? What
were the interests of each, and in what ways did their interests converge?
3. What steps could be taken by governments, NGOs, and companies to strengthen
the process to exclude conflict minerals from the global supply chain?
4. Could conflict minerals be excluded from the global supply chain without hurting
the noncombatant citizens of the DRC?

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