In one case, during 18 months of conflict in 2002 and 2003, armed groups fought to control a gold mining town in the Ituri region. As the town changed hands five times, the warlords slaughtered 2,000 civilians, carried out summary executions, raped, tortured, and otherwise abused civilians and arbitrarily detained people they saw as enemies. Tens of thousands of civilians were forced to flee their homes, losing much or all they owned to looting or destruction.
When Uganda occupied northeastern Congo from 1998 to 2003, its soldiers took control of gold-rich areas and coerced gold miners to extract the gold for their benefit. Their irresponsible mining practices led to the collapse of one of the most important mines in the area in 1999, killing 100 people trapped inside and destroying a major livelihood for the residents of the area.
Critics of the regulation, such as the National Association of Manufacturers, claim that the law would cost thousands of companies a total of US$9-$16 billion to implement. However, an independent assessment by Elm Associates submitted to the SEC found that actual costs would be far lower, closer to $800 million, and that those costs were decreasing over time.
“The Trump administration should not get rid of a rule being followed and supported by leading companies,” Ganesan said. “Dodd-Frank 1502 helps to prevent mineral resources from enriching abusive warlords in Congo. It has been a model for similar rules in other countries and it protects American consumers from unknowingly financing horrific human rights abuses.”
This report prepared by Human Rights Watch.