Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder May 7, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government finally appoints Independent Broadcasting Authority Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Help by sharing this information Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists December 26, 2019 Find out more Receive email alerts News Read in Arabic (بالعربية)Reporters Without Borders hails President Moncef Marzouki’s long-overdue announcement on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, of the composition of the nine-member Independent Broadcasting Authority (HAICA). Nouri Lejmi, a teacher at the Institute for Press and Information Sciences (IPSI), is to be its president.“We can only welcome this announcement, which has been awaited for the past year and a half,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “The installation of this self-regulatory body is the first concrete step in the overhaul of the Tunisian media envisaged by Decree-Law 116-2011.“We expressed our concern about the repeated postponement of the creation of this body during a meeting with President Marzouki last January, so this announcement is a big relief.”The HAICA will face many challenges, as major structural reforms are needed. All the laws governing the Tunisian media need to be revised. The challenges include:- Sorting out the situation of the new radio and TV stations, which are broadcasting illegally.- Establishing terms of reference for commercial and community radio and TV stations so that licences can be properly issued.- Appointing persons to run the state-owned media and revising the appointments already made by the coalition government since January 2012.The HAICA will also have to decree rules for the media to follow during the upcoming elections, to ensure that the public receives freely-reported, transparent, diverse and independent coverage. It is also important that the HAICA should intercede with the government in order to find solutions to the various problems faced by media created in the wake of the Ben Ali dictatorship’s overthrow in January 2011.“This new regulatory authority is the fruit of a struggle by Tunisia’s journalists, alongside whom Reporters Without Borders has been fighting for years,” Deloire added. “Our organization can offer the HAICA its expertise and analyses in order to help ensure the emergence of free and independent media in Tunisia.” News to go further November 12, 2019 Find out more Related documents 130507_cp_haica_ar.pdfPDF – 133.22 KB TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa News RSF_en Follow the news on Tunisia Organisation News TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa November 11, 2020 Find out more
Previous: Getting an Edge in Single-Family Rental Investment Next: California Unveils State Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Print This Post Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago January 9, 2020 2,216 Views Share Save Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. Related Articles Home / Daily Dose / The Industry Pulse: Two Law Firms Merge Sign up for DS News Daily Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Steve OrgillLERETA, LLC, a provider of real estate tax and flood services for mortgage servicers nationwide, tapped Steve Orgill as CTO. Orgill, who has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, is directing the company’s customer-focused digital transformation.Orgill has a proven track record in developing and executing successful product and technology strategies. His experience with bridging gaps between a company’s operations and technology teams ensure consistent value delivery aligned with business strategy and continued growth.“Having worked with Steve previously, I have seen first hand his ability to lead enterprise initiatives and build consensus around the introduction of productivity-enhancing technologies,” said John Walsh, CEO, LERETA. “His skill set is uniquely qualified to help support our continued growth.”Orgill has had several C-suite positions, most recently being COO of First American Settlement Management Solutions. He was VP of Strategic Architecture at Stewart Information Services, CTO at DataQuick Information Systems and CTO at HydrantID. He also had several top executive positions leading change during his tenure at First American and CoreLogic._____Avanta Risk Management has announced the release of resBlockTM 3.0. This production release includes enhancements and new functionality to improve client’s online experience, further transparency efforts, and move the technology rapidly towards the future.With the completion of the first phase of blockchain integration into the resBlockTM system, clients will be able to verify the authenticity of HOA documents on the Factom blockchain. “This is the first step in a series of blockchain releases that will provide our industry a faster, safer way to verify key information and establish trust,” said Kevin Brown, CEO of Avanta.Avanta’s proof of existence model allows partners to verify document timestamps and document integrity on the public Factom blockchain using Factom Inc.’s Harmony Connect. This privacy-preserving solution provides verifiability without revealing actual data or content, establishing additional trust in processing metrics and document authenticity.”We are excited to partner with Factom to bring blockchain technology to our data suppliers and clients,” said Brown. “We will continue to explore the uses of blockchain with a goal to leverage cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to record payment transactions and develop electronic audit trails creating real efficiencies and improving trust across the industry.” Tagged with: Law Pulse Law Pulse 2020-01-09 Seth Welborn SHD Legal Group P.A. and Anselmo Lindberg & Associates, LLC announced on January 1, 2020, the merger between the two firms to form Diaz Anselmo Lindberg, P.A.These two long-standing default firms have provided creditor representation in judicial states for over 30 years. These seasoned and experienced leaders combine their strength and ability to provide judicial state practices in seven states which include Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.The new organization will continue to deliver high-touch legal representation that the judicial process demands, while meeting client expectations of multi-state coverage.“Combining forces with Steve Lindberg and Tom Anselmo provides an exciting opportunity to expand the strength of our judicial practices in a way that will bring the default industry real added value,” explains Roy Diaz of SHD.Steve Lindberg of ALA also commented, “SHD and Roy Diaz have always stood for excellent default representation. His firm along with ALA will bring best practices to judicial foreclosures. I am proud to partner with SHD on behalf of our clients.”_____ The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Industry Pulse: Two Law Firms Merge in Daily Dose, Featured, Foreclosure, News, Technology Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: Seth Welborn Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Subscribe
Just shy of 260 Georgia 4-H’ers earned the right to compete for Georgia 4-H’s coveted Master 4-H’er title during the annual 4-H State Congress held July 24-27 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta.The students competed and won first place in their regional competitions before traveling to Atlanta for the state competition.There, the students competed in a variety of categories ranging from photography to public speaking and communications to companion animal science. They gave 12-minute presentations before expert judges and prepared portfolios detailing their research, leadership and service projects. Michael Woods, the first place winner in the vocal competition, credits his 4-H mentors and advisers for honing his talents and creating in him “a sense of acceptance in a judgmental world.”“4-H has taught me to start from the bottom of the ladder of success and climb slowly to the top,” he said.First place winner Jaime Webb, a home-schooled student from Elbert County, says 4-H has taught her things she could never learn in a classroom. “Becoming a Master 4-H’er takes a lot of responsibility and discipline,” she said. “What better way to learn these life skills than getting up at the same time every morning to feed, run and always take the best care possible of 11 show animals.”This year’s Georgia 4-H winners, projects and donors, listed by their home counties are:APPLINGKatlyn Hall won the food safety and preservation category sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Gary Keve and Dr. Elizabeth Andress. She is the daughter of Michael and Teresa Hall.BANKSCourtney Gailey won the entomology category sponsored by the Georgia Pest Control Association and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Entomology. She is the daughter of Chris and Gina Chappelear.BARTOWWill Murphy won the outdoor recreation category sponsored by Six Flags White Water. He is the son of David and Celia Murphy. BEN HILLTifara Brown won the performing arts – general category sponsored by Six Flags Over Georgia. She is the daughter of Lewis Brown and Kimberly Anderson.BLECKLEYEmily Tyus won the dairy foods category sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Earl Barrs. She is the daughter of Ben and Fay Tyus.BULLOCHKnapp Boddiford won the plant and soil science category sponsored by the Georgia Plant Food Educational Society, Inc. He is the son of Joe Boddiford and Susan Boddiford.CHATHAMKirsten Morris won the performing arts – piano category sponsored by Six Flags Over Georgia. She is the daughter of Mark and Martha Morris.CHEROKEEJanet Garner won the computers category sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation and Georgia Power. She is the daughter of David and Diane Garner.CLARKELoran Posey won the physical, biological and earth sciences category sponsored by Georgia EMC. He is the son of L. Michael Posey and Cheryl Emerling Rogers. Morgan Wurst won the safety category sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation. She is the daughter of Charlie and Stacy Wurst.COFFEEPhaedra Vickers won the dog care and training category sponsored by the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. She is the daughter of Kevin and Gina Vickers.COLQUITTAshleigh Childs won the food fast and fit category sponsored by Dr. M.K. Cook. She is the daughter of Joe and Susan Childs.COWETAAmy Goddard won the horse category sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation. She is the daughter of Tim and Cathy Goddard.CRISPAlec Joiner won the conservation of natural resources category sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation. He is the son of Joe and Tricia Joiner.DOUGLASJosh Townsend won the photography category sponsored by Georgia Magazine. He is the son of Rodney and Jenn Townsend.ELBERTJaime Webb won the sheep and meat goats category sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Jim Williamson. She is the daughter of Scott and Robin Webb.EMANUELZachary Wood won the forest resources and wood science category sponsored by Mr. Bill Lott, Paulding Timber Products, Inc. and the Georgia 4-H Foundation. He is the son of Spencer and Wanda Wood. GORDONGibson Priest won the beef category sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Jim Williamson. He is the son of Randy and Donna Priest. HALLJared Lee won the wildlife and marine science category sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation. He is the son of Jon and Jill Lee.HANCOCKMichael Woods won the performing arts – vocal category sponsored by Six Flags Over Georgia. He is the son of Davina Woods.HARALSONBrianna Holt won the fashion revue category sponsored by the Georgia Master 4-H Club. She is the daughter of Dorothea Graham.HART Ashley Hollinshead won the history category sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation and the Clover Glove Race Series. Ashley is the daughter of Tom and Vicki Hollinshead. HOUSTONKevin Braski won the workforce preparation and career development category sponsored by Emerson Climate Technologies. He is the son of Pat and Christine Braski. Mallorie Talvan won the human development category sponsored by the Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents. She is the daughter of John and Margie Talvan.IRWINWelsey O’Quinn won the poultry and egg science category sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation. He is the son of Chad and Amy O’Quinn.JOHNSONRachael Allen won the power and energy category sponsored by Mike and Karen Garett. She is the daughter of Jimmy and Tamra Allen. Kathy Carpenter won the festive foods category for health sponsored by Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc. She is the daughter of Twan Broughan.LEEJake Hager won the veterinary science category sponsored by the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. He is the son of Jason and Dana Hager. Hugh Slaton won the communications category sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association. He is the son of Hugh Slaton and Lorna Slaton.LOWNDESClay Hurdle won the international category sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation and Mrs. Eleanor Smith. He is the son of Greg and Janice Hurdle.MARIONA.J. Wells won the sports category sponsored by Six Flags White Water. He is the son of Jay and Fay Wells.MITCHELLErin Burnett won the general recreation category sponsored by the Georgia Recreation and Park Association, Inc. She is the daughter of Nelson and Judy Burnett.OCONEEMegan Beckett won the performing arts – dance category sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Burley Page. She is the daughter of Troy and Diana Beckett. Bailey Guthrie won the arts and crafts category sponsored by Ms. Marian S. Fisher, the Georgia 4-H Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Ted Jenkins. She is the daughter of Larry and Rae Guthrie. Meghan Mitchell won the dairy and milk science category sponsored by Ms. Angela Broder Nemeth and the Georgia 4-H Foundation. She is the daughter of Stan and Scarlett Mitchell.PULASKIAndrew Day won the environmental science category sponsored by the Georgia Cooperative Council, Inc. He is the son of Ken and Kellie Day.RABUNIsaac Williams won the performing arts – other instrumental category sponsored by Six Flags Over Georgia. He is the son of Neal and Rhonda Williams.SCHLEYGrace Wooten won the companion animals category sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. William H. Sell, the Homeport Farm Market and Mr. and Mrs. Greg Price. She is the daughter of Marshall and Carey Wooten.SEMINOLEJohnelle Simpson won the public speaking category sponsored by AgGeorgia Farm Credit, Farm Credit Associations of Georgia, Mr. Kaleb McMichen and Cydor USA, Inc. She is the daughter of Twynette Reynolds.SPALDING Erin Kelley won the target sports category sponsored by the Callaway Foundation and the family of Col. James Boddie. She is the daughter of Lisa Kelley.TATTNALLNick Eason won the health category sponsored by Dr. Greg L. Jones. He is the son of Mary Eason. Nicholas Waters won the food fare category sponsored by the Georgia Development Authority. He is the son of Cliff and Ann Waters.THOMASHunter Nelson won the pork production category sponsored by the Georgia Pork Producers Association and Mr. Arch Smith. He is the son of Floyd and Robin Nelson.TIFTCaroline Dunn won the flowers, shrubs and lawns category sponsored by the Georgia Development Authority. She is the daughter of Jim and Patty Dunn. Deann Taylor won the fruits, vegetables and nuts category sponsored by the Meadows-Knox Family Fund. She is the daughter of Del and Pam Taylor.TURNERChristian Anna Coker won the family resource management category sponsored by Katrina Bowers and the Sarah L. Huff Fund. She is the daughter Mike Coker and April Coker. Rachel Lord won the textiles, merchandising and interiors category sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation. She is the daughter of Paul and Sharon Lord.UNIONAndrew Smith won the housing, equipment and environment category sponsored by Mr. Bucky Cook. He is the son of Sandy Gribble.To learn more about Georgia 4-H, visit www.georgia4h.org.
Julia Erickson | Daily TrojanCurrent affairs · Journalist Pilar Marrero and professor Sherry Bebitch Jeffe discussed immigration and the election at Wednesday’s event.A journalist specializing in immigration politics spoke about the treatment of immigrants in the United States and the importance of immigration rhetoric in the 2016 presidential election Wednesday at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy, spoke with Pilar Marrero, a journalist for La Opinion, the largest Spanish-speaking newspaper in the United States. The event, “A Conversation with Pilar Marrero: Toxic Immigration Rhetoric and America’s Future,” was hosted by the USC Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise at the Price School. Marrero is the author of Killing the American Dream, published in 2012, which archives the last 25 years of immigration policy and the struggles surrounding it in the United States. She has a long history of speaking on social and political issues that deal with the Latino community. She is also covering the 2016 presidential campaign for ImpreMedia, a major Spanish-speaking media outlet.At Wednesday’s event, Marrero spoke about the political climate around immigration in America and the different approaches each presidential candidate has toward the issue. A recent Gallup poll showed that two-thirds of the Americans oppose the immigration plans advocated by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, which involves building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and deporting illegal immigrants. The poll also found that 84 percent of Americans favor a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States, a plan that is backed by the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.“This opinion about immigration among the American public changes depending on the moment and the economic conditions,” Marrero said. “In terms of the national Gallup measures, you find that opinions on immigration changed right after 9/11. It started changing slowly until today, when most of the Americans see immigration as positive.”According to Marrero, politicians are usually out of step with what majority of the population wants, which is why immigration faces gridlock in Congress despite the apparent national consensus.“The last time there was an effort to pass immigration reform, it passed in the Senate and it was stopped and never voted on in the House,” Marrero said. “The reason is because House members are elected in small districts, as opposed to the Senators, who are elected state-wise. The politics in small districts are very different from states like California.”Marrero said that the elites of both major political parties have been disconnected from their base for a while, which has led to anger among voters who are dissatisfied for economic and social reasons, along with racial issues.“If you look back in our history, right after the Great Depression, working-class whites along with Mexican agricultural workers were suffering,” Marrero said. “But Mexicans and immigrants were the scapegoats, and close to a million were deported.”Marrero related this historical pattern of behavior to the way that politicians approach current immigrants. According to Marrero, stricter immigration laws enacted after 9/11 affected regular immigrants more than those suspected of being terrorists. At airports, non-citizen workers were fired and different laws were filed targeting immigrants.“Men from several Middle Eastern countries had to register, and a lot of laws were passed that in reality affected the larger population of immigrants,” Marrero said. “There were really not a lot of terrorists caught at the time.”Marrero said that the problem lies in the fact that the emphasis is on enforcement of current immigration policies and not on reform.“I think this is a history that continues to go around, and we are seeing it coming back, year after year,” Marrero said. “We are a country that idealizes its immigrant past, but we don’t want to really deal with our immigrants.”
Cllr Marie Therese GallagherCounty councillor Marie-Therese Gallagher had slammed the Government for what she said is its continued bias against small medium and indigenous businesses in Donegal.It follows confirmation within Donegal County Council’s Budget Book that a huge reduction in rates has been made for big utility companies.Cllr Gallagher said “A reduction of €688,177 in rates has been applied to utility companies in Donegal. This decision was made by the national valuation office in Dublin. “This is a slap in the face for small medium and indigenous businesses across Donegal. It again shows the priorities of this Government – the typical looking after big business at the expense of local businesses and local services in Donegal.”“I can confidently say that not one of these companies who have received this reduction is struggling to keep the wolf from the door, in complete contrast to our local shops, pubs, hotels and manufacturers.”“My blood has been boiling since I learned of this development; it is typical of this unfair Government’s priorities.”“There is a window of opportunity at the minute to appeal this decision, I would appeal to all members of society to contact their local Government representative, to stop this measure. A countrywide campaign needs to take place, as these cuts to council services have an impact on all our communities.” REDUCTION IN RATES A SLAP IN THE FACE FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS – COUNCILLOR was last modified: November 11th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
After three children and a high-pressure, high-profile life together as one of America’s premiere sports couples, Ayesha and Stephen Curry let the world know that their marriage is still going strong on their eighth anniversary.The Alamo couple took to Instagram to share posts with their combined 33 million followers, proclaiming their love for each other and expressing how happy each makes the other.“My baby, my love, my life. What can I say,” Ayesha Curry, 30, wrote alongside a selfie of …
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Due to heavy rainfall and saturated soils during the 2017 growing season, it is not surprising to see some signs of nitrogen deficiency showing up in corn fields across Seed Consultants’ sales footprint. Whether applied preplant or sidedressed, patterns of heavy rainfall and wet soils increase the likelihood of nitrogen being lost. Because nitrogen is an essential nutrient for corn plant development and ultimately yield, losses will impact final yields this fall.When saturated conditions persist, nitrogen can be lost though leaching or denitrification. Leaching (more likely to occur in course-textured soils) is the process where nitrogen is moved down through the soil profile and out of the root zone where it is not available to plants. The severity of nitrogen loss due to leaching is impacted the intensity and duration of rainfall. Denitrification is the process where soil nitrogen is biologically converted to gaseous nitrogen and lost to the atmosphere. During denitrification, microorganisms break down soil nitrogen and convert it to nitrogen gas when soil is saturated and oxygen is limited.Nitrogen deficiency symptoms initially appear as a “V” shaped yellowing on lower leaves that begins at the tip and progresses toward the stalk. Nitrogen deficiency can also cause ears with tip-back, poor kernel set, and shallow kernel development. Fields that have experience excessive rainfall, ponding, and saturated soils could be exhibiting the symptoms discussed above.While nitrogen deficiency can impact grain yield, another concern for eastern Corn Belt farmers this fall is stalk integrity. When nitrogen deficiencies exist, the corn plant will “cannibalize” its own stalk to produce an ear. As a result, stalks will be weakened and will be prone to lodging this fall. Fields where nitrogen deficiency has been observed should be harvested in a timely manner this fall to avoid harvest losses due to lodged corn plants. For more pictures and information on corn nitrogen application and deficiency symptoms, click here.
dana oshiro Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Microsoft#web Microsoft’s Silverlight 3 and Expression 3 were released on July 9th to favorable reviews. The original Silverlight shipped in Fall 2007 as Microsoft’s first programmable web browser plug-in. It’s a 4MB Flash/Flex competitor that runs on Mac OS, Windows, Linux, and mobile devices. While Flash definitely holds the market share for machine installs, according to Microsoft, “In less than nine months since its release, more than 1 in 3 Internet devices now have Silverlight 2 installed.” While this market penetration may seem high to some, the fact that Silverlight does not have widespread name recognition is perhaps a testament to the seamlessness of the service. In it’s third iteration, Silverlight 3 offers some interesting new features including the following improvements:1. Streaming Support: Silverlight changes and adapts the video quality of a media file based on available bandwidth and CPU conditions in order to deliver an optimized viewing experience. This provides support for live and on-demand true HD (720p+) streaming. Video giant Netflix first employed the platform in 2007 to power its instant viewing service. With the new streaming support, the only thing holding back HD video sites is their own limited catalogues. 2. Sketchflow: Expression Studio’s SketchFlow allows for rapid user interface prototyping. This means that concepts and projects can evolve seamlessly without the need for lengthy redesigns. Developers are also able to apply their sketches to a 3D plane and add animation and annotations to them. Designers and developers are reporting that Sketchflow cuts down mock up times significantly. 3. Out-of-browser Capabilities: Similar to Adobe’s AIR and Mozilla’s Prism, Silverlight enables applications to be placed in a restricted store on a users machine. Users are then provided a direct link to the application from their desktop or start menu. Silverlight also tests for a network connection and automatically syncs and stores files depending on that connection. This ensures point back up. One of Silverlight 3’s early projects is French-based Eeple’sBoard. The project was started by a 19-year-old computer science student and is a virtual cork board with pictures, posters and articles. As with a real cork board, messages and notes can be layered to produce a media collage. In this case, the media includes videos, blog posts and music files. A year ago, Silverlight’s penetration was 17%, today it’s at a third of all users. Compared to the 99% market penetration of Flash 9 and 86% penetration of Flash 10, this is extremely low. It will be interesting to see if Silverlight 3’s features will increase the rate of adoption. Partnerships will certainly play a key role in how the market is carved out in the years to come. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Tags:#Africa#Blockchain Tatsiana Levdikova Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… Related Posts What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… Tatsiana Levdikova is a Content Marketer at OpenLedger ApS, a blockchain development company. She is passionate about blockchain, IoT, health IT, natural language processing, web and software design and development, and more. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of where their products are coming from. Ethically sourced materials have become a selling point for companies around the world. More and more companies are working on ditching conflict minerals and ensuring that their products are not associated with human rights abuses. Blockchain can put an end to conflict minerals globally.Note that conflict minerals remain a big problem today. Take the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for example. It is the second largest country in Africa, a land full of natural resources such as gold, diamonds, and oil. More than 64% of the Congolese population is extremely poor — living on less than $2.00 a day.Conflict Minerals in CongoThe country has been torn apart by political conflicts and corruption. In this war-torn nation, only in 2017 and 2018 alone, more than two million people have been displaced. More than five million people died in the region between 1998 and 2007. That is more than half a million people per year.What is worse is that armed groups present in the country exploit Congo’s natural resources to fund these conflicts. In 2008, they were able to raise over $180 million from mining there. Many of the mines in Congo function through the use of intimidation, slavery, and child labor.These children are forced to work in extreme conditions at all points of the supply chain, from mineral excavation and processing up until trading and transportation. Rather than going to school or playing with their friends, these children are being forced to spend days sorting through dirt to find precious minerals. The mines are their playground, and the soil is their toy.However, unlike conventional playgrounds, these are anything but safe. Mines are hazardous and are no place for a child. Children in mines are often injured or killed from mining accidents. Death and suffering from poisoning due to overexposure to mercury — which is used to process gold — is common.Watch an episode of the 2008 series of “House,” and watch an actor try to portray what metal poisoning feels like. Now picture these small children exposed to this torture. Both adults and children develop respiratory diseases from exposure to dust and other harmful substances present in mines.Illegal mines damage wildlife by destroying habitats in surrounding areas killing birds, animals, and other creatures living there. Hunting pressure and commercial bushmeat trafficking also have devastating effects on wildlife.Steps to Decrease Forced Labor and Human Right AbusesNations throughout the globe are finally beginning to realize that something needs to be done. Many of the materials these illegal mines produce are present in objects we use on a daily basis.The four most commonly mined conflict minerals are gold, coltan, wolframite which is used for tungsten, and cassiterite, which is used for tin. These items are found throughout items many of us use on a daily basis — including TVs, cellphones, cars, computers and many other electronics.Additionally, these minerals are also found on airplanes and larger devices that primarily function with the use of electronics. Considering many of these items are developed within the U.S., in 2010 a new set of regulations was introduced to help aid in the reduction of forced labor, human rights abuses, and wildlife losses.The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 and Other RegulationsSection 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires that businesses operating in the United States ensure that the resources they are using in their products are not being sourced from conflict mines. Again, this is in the mining for gold, coltan, wolframite which is used for tungsten, and cassiterite which is used for tin.The Dodd-Frank Act was made in 2010 in an era of responsibility — when all people are calling on global initiatives for protection for those who don’t have a voice. It calls on companies that require these resources to perform due diligence when sourcing materials.The 2010 act and other regulations require that businesses keep a better eye on their supply chains, which ultimately means increased transparency and gaining the ability to tell where their company materials come from. This legislation also requires visibility about the types of labor practices being conducted in those regions.Similar regulations are now being established within the EU as well. The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation will come into effect in January 2021. Like the Dodd-Frank Act, it requires businesses operating in the EU to do their due diligence when sourcing materials for their products.Companies will then have to provide a Conflict Minerals Report, which would need to be audited by an independent audit company, whose costs typically start from $25,000 per report for a small company, and from $100,000 for a larger one.All of this means a lot of expenses that small, medium-sized, and large businesses will have to account for down the road. It’s estimated these new regulations would affect between 600 to 1,000 EU businesses.A 2016 study by Amnesty International found that companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung possibly used cobalt in their products that had been collected from mines using child laborers. That means many of the iPhones being used daily and the Microsoft computers we are using — currently, operate on child labor.So although the Dodd-Frank Act went into law in 2010, the issues remain and are spreading on a massive scale. The advent of millennials becoming a more substantial purchasing power will help all of us. The millennial has their eyes cast upon saving the planet — and gaining civil rights for all persons globally. Companies will be forced to show accountability at some point.The Effects of New RegulationThe Dodd-Frank Act and the EU mineral regulations have brought up intense auditing systems that require companies to spend significant amounts of money to ensure their products are being developed ethically. Despite how expensive these audits are, they’re not genuinely effective — but they will be.Modern auditing is mainly performed through random sampling, meaning verification is only conducted from random information. This means a business might be able to luck out (as they suppose) for a while — but not forever.Blockchain can track everything, making random sampling audits using a method that can look into the past. These companies will do better in these coming future audits — if they will fix their lapses of judgment (and mining), now.How Blockchain Functions in AuditingBlockchain technology has the potential to ensure compliance, reduce audit costs, and protect human rights, eliminating forced and child labor in mineral mining. Although this technology is mainly used to increase supply chain efficiency, it can be adapted to make sourcing more ethical as well.With all points in a supply chain linked to the blockchain, all aspects of mines can be uploaded to the chain, such as details about the workforce, production, quality of minerals, the prevalence of minerals, and many others. With blockchain, every aspect of mineral products can be logged and looked back at when necessary.Blockchain requires a majority vote for previous information, or “blocks,” to be altered, which ultimately ensures there would be no chance of foul play. Each member of the chain will have the ability to see what has been added, and exactly when it is added.Does Blockchain Mean the End of Auditing?Auditing institutions can learn to adopt the technology to provide a more efficient and effective auditing service. Currently, auditing relies on methods that sometimes offer illegitimate results, and an audit conducted through random sampling can hardly be considered an audit at all, but more a “game of chances.”However, auditing companies could develop their own blockchain services. Plus, with blockchain auditors could provide more consistent testing. Not only auditors, but corporations themselves could be positive that they are not utilizing illegal or child labor practices.Current Blockchain Use Cases in Eliminating Conflict MineralsEliminating conflict materials has never been an easy task. Even with global companies performing their due diligence, there’s often no way for them to know or find out if conflict minerals got their way into the supply chain due to the number of intermediaries the mining industry traditionally has.Until recently, the $600 billion mineral industry did not have any real means actually to track itself. It all started changing just recently, with the help of blockchain.German company Minespider has introduced a blockchain-based solution that tracks the entire mineral cycle, from mining to shipment and payment. Their system works in three stages: certification, transfer, and report.During the first certification stage, Minespider gets certifications of mineral sources from their partner company, BetterChain. The confirmed, certified mines then receive electronic certification tokens, which are based on their production tonnage. These certifications are subject to annual audit and review.During the transfer stage, the purchaser gets a number of tokens equivalent to the ordered tonnage, transferred to their account via blockchain. In the third and final reporting stage, the report is generated, showing the percentage of documented material that moves through the supply chain. This makes the whole process as transparent and straightforward as possible, allowing mineral mining companies to ensure compliance and save on auditing costs as well instantly.Making Society Safer with BlockchainWhy do conflict minerals continue to exist? Why do workers continue to be injured or killed in mines? The answer is simple: our supply chains lack the necessary amount of transparency. Blockchain technology can sustain more transparent supply chains.Its ability to act as an immutable digital ledger is improving industries across the globe. It is making the medical industry more effective, decreasing shipping times with better and swifter communication, changing the way we bank, and increasing trust and accountability throughout business transactions.By using blockchain to increase transparency in the supply chain, we are taking the first step to ridding the world of conflict minerals altogether. Why is Bitcoin Soaring?