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The Congo is estimated to have $24 billion worth of untapped deposits of minerals such as coltan, cobalt, diamonds, gold, copper and oil. Extraction is generally done in small unregulated operations by illegal corrupt organizations.

It is a very poisonous environment for the young native extractors who receive only a pittance for their hard and dangerous work. Strangely, they are among the poorest in the world - a young miner earns about $2 a day.

Coltan and copper are used in every cell phone, computer, video game and in about every modern electronic circuit device.
I must check if there is blood on my phone or laptop? What about our expensive rings and diamonds?

Sorry for being facetious about such a serious matter.



Poverty is a sad thing regardless of the country. I think this is why Labor Unions were originally formed in the US.
When my daughter and son-in-law were engaged, they decided together not to have a diamond on my daughter's ring, for that very reason.
Ah, actually -- and this is the scary part -- $2 a day is not the poorest. It is in fact above the World Bank's poverty line of $1.25 a day. Estimates say that about a billion people live under that.
Not facetious at all.

I don't wear gold or diamonds and this is why!
No, you are absolutely right. Poor Africa suffered terribly during the past few centuries of American and European exploitation. The societies we've left behind are so broken, and their businesses and governments so corrupt it will take generations for the Africans to set their societies right again. I make a point of trying to consume items that aren't covered in the blood of children - you can find coffee, chocolate, sugar, etc., even diamonds I think, but the rare earths that go into every piece of electronics? It's up to us as consumers to demand that responsible global corporations refuse to do business with corrupt suppliers. But it's a huge problem. I'm hopeful that photos like this one will get out on social media and help to educate people.