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  1. 1 read Amnesty International Language English In a recent report entitled, 'This is what we die for: Human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo power the global trade in cobalt',16 global brands are identified as failing to cond ...

    In a recent report entitled, 'This is what we die for: Human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo power the global trade in cobalt',16 global brands are identified as failing to conduct basic checks on whether their source of cobalt comes from child exploitation. Amnesty International and Africa Watch came forward with accusations against companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Sony and Samsung. Both organizations said the mines employ boys and girls as young as seven to work in highly dangerous conditions for about a US$1 a day for 12 hours of labor.The report reveals that traders buy the cobalt from the mines in Democratic Republic Congo and sell it to Chinese-owned company Congo Dongfang Mining, which then sells it to battery component manufacturers in China and South Korea. It goes on to trace how this cobalt is used to power mobile phones, laptop computers, and other portable electronic devices. Using basic hand tools, miners dig out rocks from tunnels deep underground, and accidents are common. Despite the potentially fatal health effects of prolonged exposure to cobalt, adult and child miners work without even the most basic protective equipment. This report is the first comprehensive account of how cobalt enters the supply chain of many of the world’s leading brands.Source: Amnesty International  

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