Rising demand for consumer electronics such as smartphones, laptops and other digital gadgets has caused the price of cobalt, a key component of modern technology, to skyrocket in recent years.
The rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power these devices require cobalt as the main ingredient during manufacturing. But behind the screens of our gadgets lies a dark and startling reality.
Professor Sidharth Kara, researcher and author of the book Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Empowers Our Lives, has recently documented widespread human rights abuses and modern-day slavery in the cobalt mines of the Democratic Republic. found and published evidence of Congo (DRC), where more than two-thirds of the world’s cobalt is produced.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the world’s poorest and most conflict-prone countries. Here, cobalt miners, including children as young as seven, work in inhumane conditions, are physically and sexually abused, and are paid meager wages. $2 per day.
Disturbing photos and videos show workers, including children, working long hours underground in poorly ventilated mines without access to basic health and safety equipment. .
Many of the workers were forced into the mines by debt bondage and suffered serious health problems, including respiratory problems and other serious illnesses, as a result of prolonged exposure to cobalt dust and other toxic chemicals. I’m in.
Plus evidence of pervasive corruption, including local governments and mining companies covering up the abuse of these people.
Cobalt from mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is often sold to middlemen, who then resell it to major electronics manufacturers such as Apple, Tesla, Samsung and Microsoft. Many claim to have strict supply chain regulations in place to stop such abuse.
Whistleblowers and journalists have found that these regulations are often not adhered to, allowing rampant abuse and exploitation of cobalt miners.
The release of these photos and videos has sparked outrage and demands for immediate action. We are asking you to confirm that it has been sourced.
Many companies have taken action and promised to improve the transparency of their supply chains, but it remains to be seen if they will keep their promises.
Have you ever seen a video like this?