According to UNICEF, there are estimatedly 40 thousand children working in mines throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Here are the verbatim responses of the electronic firms:
“Underage labor is never tolerated in our supply chain and we are proud to have led the industry in pioneering new safeguards.”
“If a violation of child labor is found, contracts with suppliers who use child labor will be immediately terminated.”
“We are working with the suppliers to address issues related to human rights and labor conditions at the production sites, as well as in the procurement of minerals and other raw materials.”
The firms included in their metrics in dealing their suppliers screened for child labor. In case if the supplier is guilty of child labor, they should pay the following sanctions:
- Fund the laborer’s safety in returning home.
- Support the laborer’s schooling in an educational institution based on the choice of the laborer or his/her family.
- Paying the laborer’s salary perpetually.
- Offer job opportunities to the laborer when he or she reaches legal working age.
Apple takes an extra effort to investigate further the case of materials used in their products. Cobalt is closely examined by weighing the environmental risks and social hazards (e.g. labor exploitation). In checking closely the supplier, it may bring more chances for Apple to build efficient, measurable, and sustainable development in the world.
Rest assured, the leading firms in technology are doing their best to ensure the public that their products came from just and fair processes in the value chain from producers, laborers, until the finished product.