Is Child Labour Behind The Making Of Batteries For Major Tech Companies?
We all enjoy the benefits of new technologies, but have you ever asked yourself how they are made? Reports have it that 16 tech and automobile companies in the world including two major tech companies – Apple and Samsung – might be using batteries manufactured with the help of young African children who make up half of the workforce. The mineral (cobalt) mined by these children is sold to a Chinese firm – Huayou Cobalt– for distribution to these tech companies who converts them to Smartphone and car batteries.Hereby, implying that child labour is majorly behind the making of the batteries we use.
In other words, this girl among many others helps in making your phone and car batteries. Now here is what I found saddening, Amnesty contacted the tech companies listed as customers of the battery manufacturer, but Apple and Samsung told Amnesty they couldn’t verify whether the cobalt in their products originates from the DRC. Meanwhile, Samsung SDI another manufacturer that makes batteries for Samsung and Apple devices said it is impossible to determine if the cobalt is sourced from DRC.
Yes! They are trying to get out of the situation by feigning ignorance, but, what is more saddening is that the richest tech companies in the world are not taking steps to trace the source of the materials they use despite the fact that 50% of the World’s cobalt come from DRC.
After reading various comments online, I realized that nobody is faulting the tech companies because they feel Huayou is to blame. Very true, but it is also imperative that these companies take responsibility for the effect their product manufacturing process has on people.
What do you think?