Cobalt - Powering the Dark Side of a Clean Future

Cobalt - Powering the Dark Side of a Clean Future

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Sophie Ivchenko started this petition to Amnesty International and

It is estimated that 60% of the world’s cobalt supply is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This mining puts much strain on workers, both adults and children who often dig by hand with unprotective clothing and in many cases, without adequate footwear in the dangerous conditions with contaminated earth and water, dusty air and collapsing tunnels. Unfortunately, Amnesty International has found that children as young as 7 years of age work in the mines, with approximately 40,000 children mining the metal in the backbreaking conditions in the south, according to Unicef. Cobalt mining in the Congo violates many of the chilren's rights, as it harms them mentally and physically, as well as affecting their chances to receive an education to help them in their future years.

Cobalt can be found in all lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, including those in smartphones and electric vehicles. Apple and Samsung are 2 companies that are supposedly guilty of sourcing their cobalt unethically from mines in the Congo with child labor. The increased demand has caused cobalt to significantly rise in value in the global market, though its trade still means that miners are getting paid extremely low wages of approximately $9 AUD on a good day. Children say they don't have any other choice but to work in the mines, in order to help feed their families and assist their parents with their finances.

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