Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

William Ascher

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© 2016 Maya Kale


As a result of the continued violence and poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), artisanal mining serves as an opportunity for livelihood construction for the population in the Eastern DRC. Though the dominant discourse of “conflict minerals” has deemed natural resources as the cause or consequence of violence in the Eastern DRC, minerals in fact only serve as a funding tool for various foreign and local armed groups in the region. This thesis consequently explores the ways in which artisanal miners can reap the benefits of the minerals they work tirelessly to extract, using and adapting policies from two relatively successful case studies, Tanzania and Sierra Leone. In addition, this thesis proposes distinct top-down and bottom-up approaches the DRC should adopt to combat its equity issues, and finds that bottom-up methods have been the most ignored, yet successful in avoiding conflict and favoring miners’ livelihoods.