The battery inside your iPhone, Samsung or Xperia could have been made with the help of children as young as seven years-old. According to the report published by Amnesty International. The report says the cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for children is being used in batteries produced by technology giants such as Apple, Samsung and Sony. UNICEF estimates that about 40,000 children are working in the DRC mines every day.
For its part, Apple made a statement to the BBCBBC, which stated that “Underage labor is never tolerated in our supply chain and we are proud to have led the industry in pioneering new safeguards“. The company says that if one of our suppliers caught with child labor, it forces the supplier to fund the underage worker’s trip back home. Apple adds that then requires payment of suppliers to the education of underage workers and promises the child a job when he or she reaches the legal age to work.
Apple, Samsung and Sony batteries purchased from suppliers who employ children
Samsung said it has a “zero tolerance policy” when it comes to child labor, and routinely checks its supply chain. “If a violation of child labor is found, contracts with suppliers who use child labor will be immediately terminated,” Samsung said in a statement. Sony also released a statement that said it is working with suppliers to deal with human rights and labor issues.
Amnesty International spoke to 87 current and former mining cobalt. 17 of them were children, including Paul, an orphan of 14 years. Paul said he spent 24 hours in the tunnels, coming out in the morning and the next morning, “I had to relieve myself down in the tunnels… My foster mother planned to send me to school, but my foster father was against it, he exploited me by making me work in the mine. “
50% of world cobalt is extracted from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The material used in lithium ion batteries found in most mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
“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…Companies whose global profits total $125bn (£86.7bn) cannot credibly claim that they are unable to check where key minerals in their productions come from.”-Mark Dummett, business and human rights researcher, Amnesty International