Apple Urged to Make Its First Conflict-Free IPhone

Every year Apple releases a report about its impact on the environment and how its workers are treated.

The Cupertino-based company may want to look into its business dealings in the Congo.

A Congolese activist and attorney is pushing Tim Cook and company to ensure that its products are conflict free.

Delly Mawazo's op-ed in the Guardian is provocatively titled "Apple: time to make a conflict-free iPhone" and it highlights the role that slave labor and civil strife play in building some of tech's hottest gadgets.

From the iPhone to computers to server boxes, Mawazo says minerals -- such as tungsten, tantalum, tin, and gold -- are often found in Congo and are used to power gadgets, including the iPhone.

He writes:

While minerals from the Congo have enriched your life, they have often brought violence, rape and instability to my home country. That's because those armed groups fighting for control of these mineral resources use murder, extortion and mass rape as a deliberate strategy to intimidate and control local populations, which helps them secure control of mines, trading routes and other strategic areas.

But Mawazo doesn't rip Apple for its role in the conflict. In fact he says the company "has been an industry leader in both supply chain management and making corporate social responsibility a priority."

Over the past two years, Apple has tried hard to source materials responsibly and to control the supply chain.

But Mawazo wants Apple to do more in order to encourage other tech companies to follow suit.

The full article can be read on the Guardian's website.

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