Amnesty, a human right organisation, alleged Apple, Samsung, Sony and other electronic manufacturers of failure to screen the source of their raw materials. The organization said that minerals used to build parts of the devices were mined by children.
Children as young as seven years old were found out to be working on cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are putting their lives in peril due to harmful chemicals.
Cobalt is a necessary component to produce lithium-ion batteries which is frequently used in contemporary devices from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other portable gadgets.
Observing the ethical business standards, Apple, Samsung, and Sony claims that they have zero tolerance policy against child labor.
The Democratic Republic of Congo provides half of the world’s supply of cobalt. Health problems and deadly accidents jeopardize the lives of miners working in the area.
From September 2014 to December 2015, 80 miners were reported to have died underground in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Much to the horror, the child labor were included in the data collected by researchers.
I would spend 24 hours down in the tunnels. I arrived in the morning and would leave the following 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. – Paul, an orphan, 14 years old who worked as a miner since he was 12.
Given the large supply provided by Congo, there is a very large chance for the supply of these leading electronic manufacturers to be coming from the hands of exploited children.