Dear Mr Satya Nadella,
May I ask you to read my attached letter? It concerns the people who mine cobalt in DR Congo. Many reports concerning this issue have been documented. A recent Sky News report by Alex Crawford, showed children and adults working in artisanal cobalt mines. The report showed children being terribly exploited, and made it clear that the cobalt mined by them may be in the products I value. Your company, like many others, uses cobalt originating from mines in the DR Congo.
According to the Anmesty International Report: This is what we die for (2016) Amnesty International asks: Does cobalt in the company’s products originate in the DRC? Your company responded by saying, it is unable to say “with absolute assurance” whether or not cobalt in its products originates in Katanga in the DRC… Tracing metals such as cobalt up through multiple layers of our supply chain is extremely complex...Tracking the origin of the cobalt metal in [the different compounds used in Microsoft products] to the precise mining area is extremely challenging. Due to our supply chain complexity and the in-region co-mingling of materials, we are unable to say with absolute assurance that any or none of our cobalt sources can be traced to ore mined in the Katanga region. To create such a tracing mechanism would require a large degree of vertical and cross-industry collaboration.”
It is not enough to eradicate children and artisanal miners from the supply chain. These people are poor and desperate. They have contributed to the success of companies, like yours, using lithium-ion batteries in their products, and continue to do so. There are customers, myself included, who want to be ethical, fair and compassionate. We need your corporate power to organise our efforts to raise funds for the cobalt children and artisanal miners. Such customers would appreciate and value a company which opens up the dialogue of Human Rights abuses, and does something practical to help.
I would ask you, please, to read my attached letter and answer the four questions that I pose. Your response will be published on the website http://cobaltchildren.org/20170317_Do_smartphone_companies_care.html
Thank you so much. I look forward to your reply.
All good wishes,