By Nitza Vizcarra

Nitza Vizcarra is an International Student from New York, in her 3rd year at UBC. She is majoring in International Relations and is particularly interested in international development and human rights. She is passionate about spreading awareness on the situation of the Congo as it is in a state of war that is indirectly perpetuated by many who are unaware of its existence.


What are conflict minerals? Conflict minerals are natural resources whose illegal exploitation and trade in a context of war make millions in revenue for armed groups who in turn use these funds to purchase weapons that fuel violence and perpetuate human rights abuses. The UN General Assembly first officially discussed the concept in relation to “blood diamonds,” the first conflict mineral to gain notoriety [ii]. Between 1992 and 1998, the main rebel group in diamond-rich Angola, UNITA, is said to have profited up to $4 billion USD from diamonds [iii]. – – – What are the most common conflict minerals…