We do not live in a civilised world where rules are obeyed and people are treated fairly. Some governments do not enforce laws to protect against human rights abuse. We, the people, represent the power of the consumer. We must object. We can set the rules. Say NO to child labour in our smartphones. Say NO to workers being exploited, harmed and killed for our #smartphones. #Dorsen
1. Know that we share a responsibility. Slave labour, unsafe labour, enforced labour are acts of human rights abuse and we're linked to it as consumers
This is what Amnesty International says:
Companies have a responsibility to mitigate and take corrective measures for the victims if they have failed to respect human rights at any point during their operations... If human rights abuses have occurred at any point in the supply chain, the company must, in cooperation with other relevant actors, such as its suppliers and national authorities, take action to remediate the harm suffered by the people affected.
2. Know that YOU can help Dorsen and children like him. Speaking up is the first step
3. Sign the petition to object to child labour in cobalt mines
4. Be aware of the facts: government, corporates and consumers are collectively abusing a workforce which includes children. Share facts with your friends
The DR Congo government told the people to mine for themselves after state run mines went bankrupt. The government then abandoned responsibility. The government does not enforce labour laws which prohibit child labour. There are thousands of unofficial cobalt mines in DR Congo, with no proper infrastructure, safety practice or equipment.
The DR Congo produces 60% of the world’s cobalt, and unofficial mines produce 20% of that figure, so unofficial miners (known as creusseurs) and children, produce a significant amount of cobalt which is exported out of the country, processed, and is then bought by big companies.
Mining cobalt without safe practice and proper equipment is damaging to health and extremely dangerous – sometimes lethal.
Corporates like Apple, Sony, Samsung, Microsoft have found it difficult / impossible to know how the cobalt they buy was mined.
Bluntly, the corporates we know and trust are, in effect, profiting from child labour and human rights abuses.
Corporates express concern, but a lack of pro-active action means that children and creusseurs continue to be exploited, year after year.
Corporates see eventual exclusion of informally mined cobalt by creusseurs and children as the solution.
Exclusion from the supply chain does not solve the problem for the creussers or child miners. They depend on cobalt mining to survive.
Money. Investment. Structure. More money. More investment. More structure. That's why we've written to companies to help organise and sustain fundraising. Oh, and the DR Congo government needs address corruption and the exploitation of its own people. #shameonyou
Still need convincing? The three picture links below will change your mind.
Meet Dorsen. He's 8. Works 12 hours a day for as little as 8p. This is what hopeless looks like
Shouldn't governments and corporates sort this out? Yes, but they don't, so why should we?
Read our letter to the corporates. We ask them help Dorsen, 8, who is abused by corporates
5. Know it's not hopeless. People are already helping some children but more money is needed
6. Can you spare £10, £5, £1?
...donate to The Good Shepherd Sisters in Kolwezi who help cobalt children
...donate to Kimbilio, children's sanctuary in Lubumbashi, supported by Congo Children Trust