Cobalt mined with child labour used by Apple, Samsung, Sony & others, Amnesty International says - Business - CBC News
Children told Amnesty International they worked for up to 12 hours a day in the mines, carrying heavy loads to earn between $1 and $2 US day. In 2014, approximately 40,000 children worked in mines across southern DRC, many of them mining cobalt, according to UNICEF.
In a report, the group documents how traders buy cobalt from areas where child labour is rife and sell it to a company called Congo Dongfang Mining (CDM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese mineral giant Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Ltd (Huayou Cobalt). According to filings, Huayou Cobalt sold more than $235 million worth of cobalt in 2013.
Huayou and its subsidiaries then process the metals before selling them to battery component makers, who in turn sell them on to a half dozen battery-making firms who "claim to supply technology and car companies" such as the ones listed above, Amnesty said.
Amnesty said it contacted all the companies that came up in its research, and "none provided enough details to independently verify where the cobalt in their products came from," although most offered at least qualified denials.
"The glamorous shop displays and marketing of state of the art technologies are a stark contrast to the children carrying bags of rocks, and miners in narrow manmade tunnels risking permanent lung damage," Amnesty researcher Mark Dummett said.
"Millions of people enjoy the benefits of new technologies but rarely ask how they are made. It is high time the big brands took some responsibility for the mining of the raw materials that make their lucrative products."
Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.