February 6, 2014 8:53 am

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Consider Conflict-Free Technology in your school

At Turn IT On we spend most of our time in schools, helping teachers and students to get the best out of the amazing technology that their school is equipped with.

We realise that Information Technology has become ingrained in children’s lives to such an extent that access to a computing device is often as frequent as paper and pen. Teachers and parents are continually struggling to keep up with developments, in order to ensure that children are safe when using such a powerful tool. Teaching e-safety and exploring the issues is crucial to educate and to protect children’s rights. They need to know how to protect themselves, but also how to avoid causing harm to others.

Book one of our free E-Safety workshops at your school, for teachers, students or parents.

To learn more about protecting children’s rights in your school become a UNICEF Right’s Respecting School

In learning about their own rights, children also learn how to model rights and respect. Staff working in schools and organisations that support schools must also model rights and respect. One way in which we can do this is in the way we source the new technology that children use.

Most electronic devices, including mobile phones, PCs, servers, and the processors that power them, contain gold, tantalum, tin, tungsten or coltan. Some of these minerals are referred to as conflict minerals, which originate in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Violent militias and rebel groups funded by the huge demand for minerals control many mines and exploit workers with conflict and human rights violations. The situation is dire and barely reaches mainstream media. In the last 10 years the conflict in the DRC has claimed more than 5 million lives. We cannot carry on turning a blind eye to this and claim that we respect the rights of others. However, finally it seems that some people are realising…

Organisations such as UNICEF, War Child and Raise Hope for Congo have raised the profile of this situation so much so that large manufacturing companies like Intel and HP are starting to take note.

In fact Intel has said that they will no longer use minerals mined in conflict zones to build their microprocessors.

Raise Hope for Congo have ranked the largest electronics companies on their efforts toward using and investing in conflict-free minerals in their products. Please take a look at the list here.

Please make sure that the computers and equipment you order for your school have been sourced with thought given to human rights and respect. It is the best lesson we can teach.

‘Intel unveils conflict-free processors: will the industry follow suit?’ – The Guardian Jan 2014

‘Intel vows to stop using ‘conflict minerals’ in new chips’ – BBC News Jan 2014


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