Amnesty major smartphone makers use child labor won cobalt

Jan

19

2016

Virtually every major smartphone manufacturers do not check well where cobalt in batteries for their smartphones is coming from and probably use cobalt is mined in mines where children are employed as seven years, claims Amnesty International.

It is difficult to determine which manufacturers can and can not make use of cobalt is extracted with child labor, Amnesty argues in his report. Smartphone makers buy their batteries in by makers of such batteries, such as Samsung SDI, LG Chem and BAK. They buy the components at component makers who get their cobalt at Huayou, a company that refines cobalt. Huayou would do business with merchants who get cobalt from mines in Congo, where child labor occurs.

Of all the companies with which Amnesty International made contact, two have confirmed that they indeed have used cobalt from the accused by Amnesty Huayou. Microsoft says they have purchased batteries for a ‘research project’ and not sell products with batteries with Huayou’s cobalt. LG Chem, an industry LG, investigating the case and says that if the allegations prove to be true, it may break its ties with the supplier.

Other manufacturers, such as Apple, Lenovo, Huawei and Samsung, deny having ties with the accused supplier or say still further investigate whether they use that company’s cobalt. Amnesty said among other seventeen children who had worked in the mines, of which the youngest was seven years old when he began. Many of the children work above ground, one also had worked underground in winning the cobalt.

One of the companies which in recent years has prompted particular attention to the problems of child labor in the extraction of cobalt in the Congo is the Dutch FairPhone. FairPhone buy batteries before the Chinese Fenghua, which is not mentioned in the Amnesty report.

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