Conflict Minerals

Contest over the distribution of natural resources and revenues derived from them is one of the most common reasons for violent conflicts. But in an often cited definition of conflict resources, the nongovernmental organization Global Witness, which did much to consolidate related debates and campaigns, also linked the trade of such resources to the continuation of violent conflicts and human rights violations.

Although connected to a general concern about distributive regimes that trigger or enable violent conflicts, the term conflict minerals has been introduced to denote a specific set of distributive arrangements in volatile areas. Many highly valuable minerals are exploited in these areas, mostly for the purpose of trade revenues and, in distinction from products such as cash crops, almost exclusively for consumers abroad. This ...

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