New law looks to keep conflict minerals out of Massachusetts

The new law would examine the importing of minerals to make sure they aren't tied to human rights violations.

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker joined peace advocates to celebrate the passage of a bill focused on how Massachusetts does business with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The new law would examine the importing of minerals, like diamonds and gold, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Massachusetts.

The state wants to make sure these goods aren’t tied to crime or any human rights violations. Governor Baker, state lawmakers and peace advocates all said this is a major step for the Congolese community in Massachusetts. The anti-genocide advocacy group, the “Enough Project” said armed groups in Africa are trafficking minerals, like ivory, gold and diamonds, sometimes leading to genocide.

The new law would direct the Massachusetts Inspector General to take a closer look at the way the state does business in the Congo and to make necessary changes. “This is going to make a big different in the lives of Congolese people who are fighting, who are suffering, who are dying because they are fighting for their rights.”

Governor Baker said he hopes this new law will raise awareness on the issue of conflict minerals in other states.

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