Nicole Richie has joined the likes of Ben Affleck, Mia Farrow and Emile Hirsch by speaking out about the situation in the African nation of Congo.
The celebutante-turned-celebumom posted a video on her blog, hoping to raise awareness about the sexual crimes being committed in the warring country.
“I’m about to tell you a true story about a place where babies and grandmothers are being raped on a daily basis and the reason they are being raped is directly connected to the purchases of our cell phones, of our laptops and of our iPods,” Nicole said in the clip.
With longtime pal John Prendergast from The Enough Project, and Kimberly Pinkson, from the EcoMom Alliance, the trio explain that minerals that are found in the Congo are used in the making of electronic products regularly purchased by consumers. They go about naming several products and companies that use the minerals, which Prendergast points out do not have to be bought in Congo, but can be mined in other countries not under crisis.
Nicole goes on to note that rape is being used as a control mechanism, but does not single out the group involved in the crimes.
“The No. 1 weapon out there — it’s not guns, it’s not knives, it is rape,” she says. “They are raping these women and not only is it — I mean it’s not just rape, these women are being raped in front of their husbands, in front of their children… I mean, this stuff is really inhumane. This is the worst thing that I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Nicole and her pals suggest people avoid buying products that include minerals from countries engaged in conflict.
“We are not as ignorant as people think we are. We simply don’t know. And it’s not our fault,” she says. “It is so easy to be just completely distracted and I really am optimistic that if I bring it to my peers attention that they are gonna wanna do the right thing.”