Editor's note: This post originally published yesterday before the round table took place. It was updated today with a new time stamp and the video interview.
Did you ever wonder where the raw materials for your phone or camera or laptop came from, or who assembled it? Popular stories this year about the working conditions at smartphone manufacturer Foxconn finally brought to light one piece of this puzzle. Workers there, stories say, suffer not just low wages but physically and psychologically unsafe conditions, which have led to a rash of suicides at the plant.
But even before your gadget is assembled, its raw materials must be pulled out of the earth. Some of these materials, notably tantalum, which is used in capacitors, are mined in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Income from these mines directly funds warring groups; ongoing fighting over resources leaves civilians terrorized and brutalized.
There are things you can do to push companies toward building more ethical and humane products. That's what we're covering today. Our guests are Aaron Hall, a policy analyst for the Center for American Progress and the Raise Hope for Congo project; and Global Post reporter Kathleen McLaughlin, who's been working on the investigative series Silicon Sweatshops since 2009.
Show notes and talking points… Read more