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Mr. Boo-Keun Yoon, CEO of Samsung: Will you help these cobalt children, please? Children like Dorsen have helped companies make lots of profit. Dorsen works 12 hours a day for as little as 8p or 10̔¢. This is slave labour and a human rights abuse. Your help would be appreciated. Your company would be lauded.
Boo-Keun Yoon, CEO of Samsung
Will Boo-Keun Yoon, CEO of Samsung help #Dorsen and the Congolese cobalt children?

Image credit: koreaittimes.com/image/yoon-boo-keun-samsung

Added: 28 March 2017
 

Email out #3
Samsung response #3
Email out #2

Email out #1
Samsung response #1

Our postal letter sent: 4 April, 2017

Samsung have responded - it's NEGATIVE
Who responded: Sean Archer, Executive Office, President and CEO Escalations

NEGATIVE
One word response to how I feel about Samsung now? Alienated.

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 : Very disappointed with Sean Archer's response (Executive Office President & CEO Escalations) who says Samsung "maintain a strict zero tolerance policy on child labour." This sounds good, but in practice it is meaningless to the cobalt children in DR Congo. Samsung's response to Amnesty International's enquiry (published January 2016) on Samsung's due diligence practice when sourcing cobalt is as follows:

“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.”

Sean Archer 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.

I asked my email: “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.”

It appears that Samsung will not consider showing concern for the welfare of children who may have contributed to Samsung's profits with their suffering and hard labour.

I own plenty of Samsung products. I'll blog about this later. It's turned me off the brand.

Email out #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 creussers, 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: hello@cobaltchildren.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,

Flinty Maguire
www.cobaltchildren.org

Response from Samsung to our email #3

From: Samsung Customer Support Center [mailto:dear_customer@contactus.samsung.com]
Sent: 19 April 2017 09:23
To: hello@cobaltchildren.org
Subject: [Re]FAO Boo-Keun Yoon, CEO Samsung

Please quote your customer reference number when contacting Samsung
Email response ID: 1134997104

Dear Flinty

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.

Kind regards

Sean Archer
Executive Office
President & CEO Escalations

Email out #2, 28 March 2017

Email the CEO (online form)
28 March 2017
FAO: Boo-Keun Yoon

Customer reference number: 2119969329
Please quote your customer reference number when contacting Samsung
Email response ID: 1134600245

Dear Mr Boo-Keun Yoon

A copy of this letter is referenced on the website Cobalt Children:

Thank you for the email from one of your employees. I appreciate this prompt response. Unfortunately, it did not address my concerns.

I am aware of your zero policy tolerance to child labour. Unfortunately, due to the supply chain, your company is unable to establish whether cobalt mined by Congolese artisanal miners and children becomes part of your product. I understand this from the Amnesty International Report: This is what we die for (2016). I quote Samsung’s response to Amnesty International’s question: “Does cobalt in the company’s products originate in the DRC?”

Samsung’s  response was as follows: it is “impossible for us to determine whether the cobalt supplied to Samsung SDI comes from DRC Katanga’s mines... The corporate policy of Samsung SDI prohibits the use of minerals originated from conflict-affected areas such as the DRC. Thus, the company conducts yearly investigations on our suppliers about the use of concerned minerals and examines the refiners of 3TG, banned under US SEC’s conflict minerals rules. Adding to that, the company investigated the country of origin of cobalt which is not on the current list of conflict minerals. However, in reality, it is very hard to trace the source of the mineral due to suppliers’ nondisclosure of information and the complexity of the supply chains.”

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.

Please read my letter and respond to my questions which are clearly documented. I write on behalf of concerned customers who own such products as smartphones, and who feel ashamed that these products may contain cobalt mined by children. We want our concern to be recognised that we care for these people and want to help them. We’re asking you to be a conduit to our expressions and gestures of care.

I look forward to your reply.

With thanks and kind regards
Flinty Maguire

Email response from Samsung #1, 26 March 2017

From: Samsung Customer Support Center
Sent: 26 March 2017 20:21
To: hello@cobaltchildren.org
Subject: [Re]Artisanal mines in DRCongo, Children and cresseurs

Please quote your customer reference number when contacting Samsung
Email response ID: 1134600245

Dear Flinty

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,

Kind regards

Samsung President & CEO Escalations
Samsung UK

Email out #1, 26 March 2017

Email the CEO (online form)
26 March 2017
FAO: Boo-Keun Yoon

Letter attached: Download letter, or read online

Dear Sir

Greetings to you from the UK. My family and I own Samsung products. We are trustful of your company name and have been highly satisfied with Samsung technology.

May I ask you to read my attached letter. It concerns the people who mine cobalt in DR Congo. A recent Sky News report showed children and adults working in artisanal cobalt mines. The report educated me to the fact that children are being terribly exploited, and that the cobalt mined by them may be in the products I value. This is very disturbing and profoundly upsetting. It is not enough to eradicate children and artisanal miners from the supply chain. These people are poor and desperate. We must help them. They have contributed to the success of your company 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 these cobalt children and artisanal miners. Some of your customers may not be interested, but many, like me, would appreciate and value a company which opened up the dialogue of Human Rights abuses, and did something practical to help. Please read my attached letter.

Thank you so much. I look forward to your reply.

All good wishes,
Flinty Maguire

No response yet...
 
 
Any thoughts?
No apathy

How to help #Dorsen and children like him
Did you know that people who take action are less likely to suffer from depression?

Donating

When children earn as little as 8p a day, every penny helps

Donate direct to Congo Children Trust who manage the project, Kimbilio. They support street and cobalt children to have a future filled with hope
Buy something from our shop: 100% goes to help Congolese children

Folksy

No help offered from these companies: Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Daimler, Vodafone, Volkswagen, Lenovo. They gave standard "brush-off" responses. Apple claims they lead the industry!
CEO Rajeev Suri, Nokia
Companies yet to respond...
Cobalt Children, 2017. Consumers and Corporates know it's wrong for children to mine cobalt.
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