Children as young as seven mining cobalt
used in smartphones, says Amnesty
Amnesty International says it has traced cobalt used in batteries for household
brands to mines in DRC, where children work in life-threatening conditions
Tuesday 19 January 2016 11.02 AEDT Last modified on Tuesday 19
January 201619.49 AEDT
Children as young as seven are working in perilous conditions in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo to mine cobalt that ends up in
smartphones, cars and computers sold to millions across the world, by
household brands including Apple, Microsoft and Vodafone, according to a
new investigation by Amnesty International.
The human rights group claims to have traced cobalt used in lithium
batteries sold to 16 multinational brands to mines where young children
and adults are being paid a dollar a day, working in life-threatening
conditions and subjected to violence, extortion and intimidation.
More than half the worldâ€™s supply of cobalt comes from the DRC, with 20%
of cobalt exported coming from artisanal mines in the southern part of the
country. In 2012, Unicef estimated that there were 40,000 children
working in all the mines across the south, many involved in mining cobalt.
In a joint-investigation with African Resources Watch (Afrewatch), an
African NGO focusing on human rights in the minerals and extractive
industries, Amnesty International says it interviewed 90 adults and
children working in five artisanal cobalt mine sites. Workers spoke of
labouring for 12 hours a day with no protective clothing, and with many
experiencing significant health problems as a result.
The report says that child miners as young as seven carried back-breaking
loads and worked in intense heat for between one or two dollars a day
without face masks or gloves. Several children said they had been beaten by
security guards employed by mining companies and forced to pay â€œfinesâ€ by
unauthorised mines police sent by state officials to extort money and
The human rights groups say they traced the supply chain from these
mining sites to Congo Dongfang Mining (CDM), one of the largest mineral
processors in the DRC and a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese mineral
company Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Ltd (Huayou Cobalt).
The report says that Huayou Cobalt sources more than 40% of its cobalt
from the DRC and processes the raw mineral before selling it to battery
makers, who claim to supply companies including Apple, Microsoft and
Vodafone. This supply chain has not been independently verified by the
Responding to the allegations, Huayou Cobalt told Amnesty
International that â€œour company has not been aware that any of our
legitimate suppliers has hired child labour in their mining sites or operated
in unsafe working conditions â€¦ CDM has rigorously selected its ore
suppliers to ensure the procurement of raw materials through legitimate
Of the 16 companies listed in the report as sourcing from battery
manufacturers using processed cobalt from Huayou Cobalt, two
multinational companies denied sourcing any cobalt from the DRC and five
said they had no links with Huayou Cobalt. The remaining companies
either accepted Amnestyâ€™s claims or were investigating the claims.
In its response to Amnestyâ€™s allegations, which Amnesty has published in
full alongside responses from the other named companies, Apple said it was
currently evaluating whether cobalt in the companyâ€™s products originated in
â€œUnderage labour is not tolerated in our supply chain and we are proud to
have led the industry in pioneering new safeguards,â€ it says.
Vodafone, in its response to Amnesty, stated that the company â€œis unaware
as to whether or not cobalt in our products originates in Katanga in the
DRC â€¦ both the smelters and the mines from which the metals such as
cobalt are originally sourced are several steps away from Vodafone in the
Amnesty International and Afrewatch claim that despite the denials by
some of the named multinationals, none of those companies named could
independently verify where the cobalt in their products come from.
â€œWhat is very worrying is that none of the companies that we identified
through our research and named in investor documents could trace the
cobalt they use in their products back to the mines where it originated.
Around half of all cobalt comes from the DRC, and no company can validly
claim that they are unaware of the human rights and child labour abuses
linked with mineral extraction in the region,â€ says Mark Dummett, business
and human rights researcher at Amnesty International.
He said that some of the company responses to Amnestyâ€™s assertions were
â€œstaggeringâ€. For example, when asked by Amnesty International whether it
sourced cobalt from CDM or Huayou Cobalt, Microsoft responded by
saying: â€œWe have not traced the cobalt used through our supply chain to the
smelter level due to the complexity and the resources required.â€
â€œThese are some of the biggest companies in the world, with combined
profits of $125 billion and there is no excuse that companies arenâ€™t
investing some of that profit into ensuring that they can trace where the
minerals they are using are coming from,â€ says Dummett. â€œAnyone with a
smartphone would be appalled to think that children as young as seven
carrying out back-breaking work for 12 hours a day could be involved at
some point in the making of it.â€
The DRC has a long history of bloody conflict fuelled by the regionâ€™s
mineral wealth and the region still has an estimated $24 trillion in
Global demand for cobalt is increasing, but the global cobalt market
remains largely unregulated as it falls outside â€œconflict mineralâ€ legislation
regulating the extraction and sale of other mineral such as gold, coltan and
tin from the DRC.
Amnesty and Afrewatch are using the findings of the report to call on
multinational companies to conduct investigations of their supply chains
for lithium-ion batteries, to check for child labour or labour abuses and to
be more transparent about their suppliers.
Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?
- Plagiarism free papers
- Timely delivery
- Any deadline
- Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
- Subject-relevant academic writer
- Adherence to paper instructions
- Ability to tackle bulk assignments
- Reasonable prices
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Get superb grades consistently
Online Academic Help With Different Subjects
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
What discipline/subjects do you deal in?
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
What if I don’t like the paper?
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
- When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
- We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.
In the event that you don’t like your paper:
- The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
- We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
- Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.
Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
What if the paper is plagiarized?
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
When will I get my paper?
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
Will anyone find out that I used your services?
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
How our Assignment Help Service Works
1. Place an order
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
2. Pay for the order
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
3. Track the progress
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
4. Download the paper
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.