Cobalt Children of DR Congo
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Mr. Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen: 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.
Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagon
Will Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagon help #Dorsen and the Congolese cobalt children?

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Added: 6 April 2017
Oh dear. Volkswagen come back with a typical politically correct response with no offer of practical help for the cobalt children. I write back. Have you any intention of helping in a practical way? I point out that children cannot eat reports.

Our follow-up email to Volkswagen, 10 May 2017. This is the afternoon before Dorsen and Richard where shown on Sky News being offered a place by the charity, Kimbilio.

From: Flinty Maguire, Cobalt Children []
Sent: 10 May 2017 12:21
To: '' <>
Cc: '' <>; Kimbilio Ian Harvey ( <>; '' <>
Subject: RE: Ref. no.: VW-2017/05-008417
Importance: High

Dear  Maurizio Meloni  and Karl-Heinz Straub

Thank you for your response.

May I make this point: the children have already been hurt. The evidence is documented and filmed.

May I ask if you have any intention of making a practical gesture to support them?

It's a shame that no corporation has come forward to actively support these children. What a missed opportunity for positive publicity.

Frankly, a gesture of support is needed from corporations. It would be welcomed and praised. We need just one corporation to show some responsibility and compassion for what has happened in the past to these children, and what is still happening.  A corporation has a golden opportunity to set a great example.

Please note: there is a Sky News report to be aired, hopefully tonight around 8pm. It revisits a recent report featuring the children Richard and Dorsen, who are the inspiration of this campaign.

It would be wonderful if you responded with some form of practical help. Academic talk is appreciated, but a practical approach actually helps children. Children do not eat reports. They need respite and  food.

All good wishes

Flinty Maguire

From: []
Sent: 10 May 2017 07:57
Subject: Ref. no.: VW-2017/05-008417

Ref. no.: VW-2017/05-008417

10 May 2017

Dear Ms Maguire,

Thank you for your e-mail addressed to the Board of Management of the Volkswagen AG. As the responsible department for customer affairs, we have received your correspondence for further attention.

We can reassure you that we are just as concerned as you are about the reports regarding the working conditions in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

We are in contact with our suppliers concerning the topic of cobalt. However, on the basis of the information available to us, we cannot confirm the delivery relationships presented in the news.

An important task for the Volkswagen Group is the integration of environmental and social standards into its Supplier Management Guidelines, whereby each agent in the value chain acts independently. With the contractual integration of the concept “Sustainability in Supplier Relationships”, the company and its business partners have assumed ecological, economic and social responsibility.

If it is suspected that direct suppliers or their subcontractors may not comply with our sustainability requirements, we ask them for a written statement. They are given an opportunity to present the matter and any corrective action to resolve the issues. If the answers are not satisfactory, further appropriate action is taken. This may include site visits to suppliers and other individual qualification measures for suppliers.

Volkswagen welcomes the proposition of improving transparency in the raw materials sector and we are active in several initiatives to remedy child labour or adults working in hazardous conditions. Since 2013, Volkswagen has participated in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) alongside governments and non-governmental organizations. Furthermore, we are currently an active stakeholder in the NamiRo research project for “sustainably extracted mineral commodities”

We hope this has answered your questions in a sufficient manner.

Yours sincerely,
i. V. Maurizio Meloni i. V. Karl-Heinz Straub

Volkswagen AG
38436 Wolfsburg
Tel                          +49 (0) 1806 890000**
Fax                         +49 (0) 1805 329865*
Mail to        

** 0,20 €/Verbindung aus dem dt. Festnetz, max. 0,60 €/Verbindung aus dem Mobilfunknetz
* 0,14 €/Min. aus dem dt. Festnetz, max. 0,42 €/Min. aus dem Mobilfunknetz


Sitz/Domicile: Wolfsburg
Registergericht/Court of Registry: Amtsgericht Braunschweig HRB Nr./. Commercial Register No.: 100484 Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrats/Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Hans Dieter Poetsch Vorstand/Board of Management: Matthias Mueller (Vorsitzender/Chairman), Karlheinz Blessing, Herbert Diess, Francisco J. Garcia Sanz, Jochem Heizmann, Andreas Renschler, Rupert Stadler, Hiltrud D. Werner, Frank Witter

Wichtiger Hinweis: Die vorgenannten Angaben werden jeder E-Mail automatisch hinzugefuegt und lassen keine Rueckschluesse auf den Rechtscharakter der E-Mail zu.
Important Notice: The above information is automatically added to this e-mail. This addition does not constitute a representation that the content of this e-mail is legally relevant and/or is intended to be legally binding upon VOLKSWAGEN AG.

From: Flinty Maguire, Cobalt Children []
Sent: 18 April 2017 14:06
To: '' <>; '' <>
Subject: FAO Mr Matthias Müller, CEO Volkswagen

Dear  Matthias Müller,

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:

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:

Your response will be shared on the website: 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

>---Original Message-----
Sent: 18 April 2017 14:25
To: withheld recipients
Subject: Ihre Mail an Volkswagen

Translation to English: Dear Customer,

We have received your e-mail and forwarded it to our staff for processing.

Due to the high interest in the Volkswagen brand, we ask for your understanding that processing can take some time.

This message was automatically generated by our system.
Please do not reply to this email.


Your Volkswagen customer support

Sehr geehrte Kundin, sehr geehrter Kunde,

wir haben Ihre E-Mail erhalten und zur Bearbeitung an unsere Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter weitergeleitet.

Aufgrund des hohen Interesses an der Marke Volkswagen bitten wir um Ihr Verständnis, dass die Bearbeitung einige Zeit in Anspruch nehmen kann.

Diese Mitteilung wurde von unserem System automatisch erzeugt.
Bitte antworten Sie nicht auf diese E-Mail.

Freundliche Grüße

Ihre Volkswagen Kundenbetreuung

Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft
Sitz: Wolfsburg
Registergericht: Amtsgericht Braunschweig HRB Nr.: 100484 Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrats: Hans Dieter Pötsch
Vorstand: Matthias Müller (Vorsitzender), Karlheinz Blessing, Herbert Diess, Francisco J. Garcia Sanz, Jochem Heizmann, Andreas Renschler, Rupert Stadler, Hiltrud Werner, Frank Witter

Wichtiger Hinweis: Die vorgenannten Angaben werden jeder E-Mail automatisch hinzugefügt und lassen keine Rückschlüsse auf den Rechtscharakter der E-Mail zu.

Our letter, posted 4 April 2017
No reponse yet...
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?

You could donate...
When children earn as little as 8p a day, every penny helps
Buy something from our shop: 100% goes to help Congolese children


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
These companies didn't even bother to respond to our letters
Cobalt Children, 2017. Consumers and Corporates know it's wrong for children to mine cobalt.
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