I am so disappointed with Samsung. Sean Archer’s response to my letter and emails is flat, unimaginative and cold. It’s standard text written to shut you up and brush you away. I wonder if the Samsung CEO, Mr. Boo-Keun Youn realises this standard text is misleading and unreliable.
I wrote to Mr Boo-Keun Youn at this address:
Samsung Electronics Co.
The letter is available on this link: http://cobaltchildren.org/company_Samsung.html
I hope this man has the grace and goodness to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org, with a different point of view.
Sean Archer’s email is a cut and paste job. There’s no mention of Dorsen, the ACTUAL living, breathing, suffering child who works 12 hours a day for as little as 8 British pence, helping such corporates to profiteer.
AMAZING FACT: The #Dorsen film is posted on the Sky News Facebook page. It has been watched 43m times and has been shared 835k times. Corporates can no longer bury their head in the sand and pretend this is nothing to do with them. Here’s the link:
Samsung is part of this dynamic. When questioned about their cobalt supply by Amnesty International, 2016, Samsung’s response was:
“In reality, it is very hard to trace the source of the mineral due to the suppliers’ nondisclosure of information and the complexity of the supply chains. Therefore it is impossible for us to determine whether the cobalt supplied to Samsung SDI comes from DRC Katanga’s mines.”
This was my question, and it was completely ignored:
“What I am asking is not for you to account for your policy, but for you to consider showing concern for the welfare of children that may well be caught up in the process of making profit for your company, which necessarily involves your customers in a backstory of human rights abuses.”
Our Samsung purchases: we are consumers, and now we shall say, “No more Samsung.” We are not supporting a company who cannot acknowledge the existence of a boy called #Dorsen who slaves to make corporates rich.
We’ve made lots of Samsung purchases over the years. We trusted the name and the quality. We don’t trust Samsung anymore. There will be no more Samsung purchases. At least, not until things are clarified and put right. #consumerssayno
Samsung response #2
From: Samsung Customer Support Center [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 19 April 2017 09:23
Subject: [Re]FAO Boo-Keun Yoon, CEO Samsung
Please quote your customer reference number when contacting Samsung
Email response ID: 1134997104
Thank you for your further communication.
The previous response issued in reply to your earlier correspondence remains Samsung’s official position and statement in respect of such enquiries and we cannot add further comment to this.
As a leading global company, Samsung Electronics takes our social and environmental responsibilities very seriously. We maintain a strict zero tolerance policy on child labour. Since 2012, we have instituted a supplier code of conduct based on Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) guidelines and enforced these policies through the annual self-assessment, on-site audits, and 3rd party audits, which are both regular and unannounced. If a violation is found, contracts with suppliers who use child labour will be immediately suspended.
President & CEO Escalations
Samsung response #1
From: Samsung Customer Support Center
Sent: 26 March 2017 20:21
Subject: [Re]Artisanal mines in DRCongo, Children and cresseurs
Please quote your customer reference number when contacting Samsung
Email response ID: 1134600245
As a leading global company, Samsung Electronics takes our social and environmental responsibilities very seriously. We maintain a strict zero tolerance policy on child labour. Since 2012, we have instituted a supplier code of conduct based on Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) guidelines and enforced these policies through the annual self-assessment, on-site audits, and 3rd party audits, which are both regular and unannounced. If a violation is found, contracts with suppliers who use child labour will be immediately suspended,
Samsung President & CEO Escalations
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.
My comment: Sean Archer of Samsung doesn’t clarify whether Samsung’s due dilgence practice to mined cobalt has changed, or whether it is still “impossible” for Samsung to know where their cobalt is sourced from. Therefore, Samsung may well be have used cobalt mined by children like Dorsen. In fact, Dorsen may have contributed directly to Samsung’s profits.
My follow-up email to Samsung #3, 18 Aril 2017
Dear Mr Boo-Keun Yoon,
I posted a letter to you on the 4 April 2017. I attach it here again.
I wish to draw your attention to the Sky News report: “Inside the Congo mines that exploit children”. The report deals with the mining of cobalt used in lithium ion batteries in profitable and widely used items such as smartphones and laptops.
The Sky News report features Dorsen, an 8 year old boy who mines cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He works 12 hours a day for as little as eight British pence. This Sky News report triggered the Cobalt Children campaign to ask companies, such as yours, to organize help for these children and creusseurs.
The Sky News report is posted on Facebook has had 43 million views and has been shared over 834,000 times. There are over 150,000 comments.
Here is the link to the report: https://www.facebook.com/skynews/videos/1659591590722098/
I am sure you will agree that this overwhelming response from the general public to the issue of child labour in cobalt mines, and the exploited labour of creusseurs, warrants comment and action from your company.
I appreciate you need to consider your response which I look forward to receiving on or before 1st May, 2017. From now, until that date, Dorsen may have worked 168 hours of hard labour mining cobalt, which may include being beaten, starved and injured. This child, and others like him, need our collective help and they need it soon. We cannot let this issue go on for more years. It shames us all.
Please respond by email to the address provided: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your response will be shared on the website: www.cobaltchildren.org and on social media. Be assured, I will help in any way I can to assist these children and creusseurs.
Many thanks and kind regards,