Dark Side of Tech: Poor Kids as little as 7 Work in Mines Dangerously to Provide Materials for Smartphones and Electric Cars

Dark Side of Tech: Poor Kids as little as 7 Work in Mines Dangerously to Provide Materials for Smartphones and Electric Cars

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The makers of Electric Car Batteries and Smartphones are using Child Labor with kids as young as 7 working in mines.

Dark Side of Tech: Kids working in danger for #Smartphones and Electric Cars industry Click To Tweet

In a new report by Amnesty and Afrewatch, shows us the dark side of our everyday technology led world.  What the world’s rich kids use so easily is made up with the hard labor from some poor kids in the mines!

And Amnesty says that major electronics brands, including Apple, Samsung and Sony, are failing to do basic checks to ensure that cobalt mined by child labourers has not been used in their products.

The report documents how traders buy cobalt from areas where child labour is rife and sell it to Congo Dongfang Mining (CDM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese mineral giant Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Ltd (Huayou Cobalt).

Amnesty International’s investigation uses investor documents to show how Huayou Cobalt and its subsidiary CDM process the cobalt before selling it to three battery component manufacturers in China and South Korea.

In my personal view, child labor is always a double edged sword.  It is not as if in absence of this work, these kids will not do anything else.  They will.  Just that they will go for whatever pays most to them.  And that is something difficult to reconcile.  In poor countries, instead of shooting down the industries which pay poor kids more than the alternatives, it may be more useful – for the poor kids – to have better work conditions and better regulations and money.

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Image courtesy Amnesty

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