News How Apple, Samsung and others profit off the backs of poor children

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  1. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    This is What We Die For:
    Human Rights Abuses in the
    Democratic Republic of the
    Congo Power the Global
    Trade in Cobalt


    Major electronics brands, including Apple, Samsung and Sony, are failing to do basic checks to ensure that cobalt mined by child laborers has not been used in their products, said Amnesty International and Afrewatch in a report published today.

    The report,
    “This is What We Die For: Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Power the Global Trade in Cobalt”,
    traces the sale of cobalt, used in lithium-ion batteries, from mines where children as young as seven and adults work in perilous conditions.

    “The glamourous shop displays and marketing of state of the art technologies are a stark contrast to the children carrying bags of rocks, and miners in narrow manmade tunnels risking permanent lung damage,” said Mark Dummett, Business & Human Rights Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Millions of people enjoy the benefits of new technologies but rarely ask how they are made. It is high time the big brands took some responsibility for the mining of the raw materials that make their lucrative products.”

    The report documents how traders buy cobalt from areas where child labor is rife and sell it to Congo Dongfang Mining (CDM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese mineral giant Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Ltd (Huayou Cobalt).

    Amnesty International’s investigation uses investor documents to show how Huayou Cobalt and its subsidiary CDM process the cobalt before selling it to three battery component manufacturers in China and South Korea. In turn, they sell to battery makers who claim to supply technology and car companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, Daimler and Volkswagen.

    Amnesty International contacted 16 multinationals who were listed as customers of the battery manufacturers listed as sourcing processed ore from Huayou Cobalt. One company admitted the connection, while four were unable to say for certain whether they were buying cobalt from the DRC or Huayou Cobalt. Six said they were investigating the claims. Five denied sourcing cobalt from via Huayou Cobalt, though they are listed as customers in the company documents of battery manufacturers. Two multinationals denied sourcing cobalt from DRC.

    Crucially, none provided enough details to independently verify where the cobalt in their products came from.

    “It is a major paradox of the digital era that some of the world’s richest, most innovative companies are able to market incredibly sophisticated devices without being required to show where they source raw materials for their components,” said Emmanuel Umpula, Afrewatch (Africa Resources Watch) Executive Director.

    “The abuses in mines remain out of sight and out of mind because in today’s global marketplace consumers have no idea about the conditions at the mine, factory, and assembly line. We found that traders are buying cobalt without asking questions about how and where it was mined.”

    Fatal mines and child labor

    The DRC produces at least 50 percent of the world’s cobalt. One of the largest mineral processors in the country is Huayou Cobalt subsidiary CDM. Huayou Cobalt gets more than 40 percent of its cobalt from DRC.

    Miners working in areas from which CDM buys cobalt face the risk of long-term health damage and a high risk of fatal accidents. At least 80 artisanal underground miners died in southern DRC between September 2014 and December 2015 alone. The true figure is unknown as many accidents go unrecorded and bodies are left buried in the rubble.

    Amnesty International researchers also found that the vast majority of miners spend long hours every day working with cobalt without the most basic of protective equipment, such as gloves, work clothes or facemasks to protect them from lung or skin disease.

    Children told Amnesty International they worked for up to 12 hours a day in the mines, carrying heavy loads to earn between one and two dollars a day. In 2014 approximately 40,000 children worked in mines across southern DRC, many of them mining cobalt, according to UNICEF.

    Paul, a 14-year-old orphan, started mining at the age of 12. He told researchers that prolonged time underground made him constantly ill:

    “I would spend 24 hours down in the tunnels. I arrived in the morning and would leave the following morning ... I had to relieve myself down in the tunnels … My foster mother planned to send me to school, but my foster father was against it, he exploited me by making me work in the mine.”

    “The dangers to health and safety make mining one of the worst forms of child labor. Companies whose global profits total $125 billion cannot credibly claim that they are unable to check where key minerals in their productions come from,” said Dummett.

    “Mining the basic materials that power an electric car or a smartphone should be a source of prosperity for miners in DRC. The reality is that it is a back-breaking life of misery for almost no money. Big brands have the power to change this.”

    Following the supply chain – corporate shame

    Amnesty International and Afrewatch researchers spoke to 87 current and former cobalt miners, 17 of them children, from five mine sites in southern DRC in April and May 2015. They also interviewed 18 cobalt traders and followed vehicles of miners and traders as they carried cobalt ore from mines to markets where larger companies buy the ore. The largest of them is Huayou Cobalt’s Congolese subsidiary CDM.

    Huayou Cobalt supplies cobalt to three lithium-ion battery component manufacturers Ningbo Shanshan and Tianjin Bamo from China and L&F Materials from South Korea. These three battery component manufacturers bought more than US$90 million worth of cobalt from Huayou Cobalt in 2013.

    Amnesty International then contacted 16 multinational consumer brands listed as direct or indirect customers of the three battery component manufacturers. None said they had been in touch with Huayou Cobalt or traced where the cobalt in their products had come from prior to Amnesty International’s contact.

    The report shows that companies along the cobalt supply chain are failing to address human rights risks arising in their supply chain.

    Today there is no regulation of the global cobalt market. Cobalt does not fall under existing “conflict minerals” rules in the USA, which cover gold, coltan/tantalum, tin and tungsten mined in DRC.

    “Many of these multinationals say they have a zero tolerance policy for child labor. But this promise is not worth the paper it is written when the companies are not investigating their suppliers. Their claim is simply not credible,” said Dummett.

    “Without laws that require companies to check and publicly disclose information about where they source minerals and their suppliers, companies can continue to benefit from human rights abuses. Governments must put an end to this lack of transparency, which allows companies to profit from misery.”

    Amnesty International and Afrewatch are calling on multinational companies who use lithium-ion batteries in their products to conduct human rights due diligence, investigate whether the cobalt is extracted under hazardous conditions or with child labor, and be more transparent about their suppliers.

    The organizations are also calling on China to require Chinese extractive companies operating overseas to investigate their supply chains and address human rights abuses in their operations. The organizations say Huayou Cobalt should confirm who is involved in mining and trading its cobalt (and where) and make sure it is not buying cobalt mined by child labor or in dangerous conditions.

    “Companies must not simply discontinue a trading relationship with a supplier or embargo DRC cobalt once human rights risks have been identified in the supply chain. They must take remedial action on the harm suffered by people whose human rights were abused,” said Dummett.

    A full list of the companies investigated and their responses is available in the annex of the report.

    The 16 multinational companies covered in the report are Ahong, Apple, BYD, Daimler, Dell, HP, Huawei, Inventec, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, Vodafone, Volkswagen and ZTE. Company responses are available in the report annex.

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/...ublic-of-the-congo-power-the-global?page=show
     
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  2. Mr. Potato Head

    Mr. Potato Head ~Would Like to Play~ Gold

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    Hard to read. :crying:






    It is a bit easier with my large screened phone though. It has a big lithium ion battery. :grad:
     
  3. DrivenByDemons

    DrivenByDemons Spinoff Jesus Staff Member

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    I worship my cobalt guitar strings :dbd:
     
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  4. Pothead

    Pothead Well-Known Member

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    hand-eye coordination, if I had that job not sure I'd be able I'd be able to keep up with the the quota.
     
  5. Mr Vengeance

    Mr Vengeance Ladies love cool V. VIP

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    Fucking amateurs....Beffy has been able to make NSAL profit off the eyes of blind cats.
     
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  6. The Snork

    The Snork Well-Known Member VIP Gold

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    Waaaah! COBALT!
     
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  7. Calloused Shins

    Calloused Shins Well-Known Member

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    Nothing is shocking anymore. We are fucking parasites


    Sent on my iPhone 6s
     
  8. Time-Pilot

    Time-Pilot Well-Known Member VIP

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    I'm trying to give a fuck, really, but I just don't.
     
  9. Rescued Owl

    Rescued Owl VIP Extreme Gold

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    The organizations are also calling on China to require Chinese extractive companies operating overseas to investigate their supply chains and address human rights abuses in their operations.

    China has looked into these alleged abuses and have just issued their statement to the Amnesty International organization.

    :gtfo:
     
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  10. Tovahund

    Tovahund Just a good dog.

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    Sadly this is true. I used to feel everything. Children, animals, homeless. (In that order) I would become crippled trying to help.

    As I've grown up I had to choose who and what I can stay awake at night worrying about. Charity starts at home these days then I'll move onward.







    I'm might be the wrong one to ask 'tho I just inherited a 5th generation blood diamond from my Grandmom :slick:




    @DiamondGoddess
     
  11. SouthernListen

    SouthernListen I don't follow the crowd. Sorry about that. VIP

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    We have child labor and safety laws where a company doing that here would have the entire board sent to prison. But hey, if you want to make them in China for us and send them here, that's cool with us!

    Signed, US congress.
     
  12. HowieStearn

    HowieStearn HateClub

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    it's mostly Apple. you know, disciples of the chosen one
    [​IMG]
    'Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ended September 26, 2015. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.1 billion, or $1.96 per diluted share. Oct 27, 2015'. hypocritical hairy legged libs are (apparently) ignoring this blatant capitalistic corporate profiteering :dontknow:
     
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  13. WHTHS

    WHTHS Well-Known Member VIP

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    :giggle:
     
  14. Keyless Chuck

    Keyless Chuck Barely a VIP

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    Yeah I don't care how these countries conduct themselves. We as a country tried to improve the world but they rejected our ideology. So fuck them...
     
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  15. iloveyoubut

    iloveyoubut Well-Known Member

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    "Each person in the first world has four slaves. But you don't worry about them, because you do not see them. They are locked away in slave barrens, toiling, so you can live in material wealth".
     
  16. SouthernListen

    SouthernListen I don't follow the crowd. Sorry about that. VIP

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    If work conditions there are indeed slavery, then there should be a ban on their products. And if their products aren't made to our standards in terms of work or product safety or pollution, etc, then they should be banned in the name of fair trade. However, if it's just shitty low paying jobs they choose to work at and are free to leave, I have three questions, courtesy of Professor Thomas Sowell.

    1. Why would they be working there unless it's the best job they could find?

    2. Once we eliminate this "best job" of theirs, what do they do then? Won't the second best job be even worse?

    3. Have we helped or hurt them with our moral indignation? What if this means Apple fires the supplier and they all lose their jobs, then sends the work to higher paid workers elsewhere? Have we helped or hurt.

    I know the idea is to force Apple to force their suppliers to do the right thing. It'd be nice if they did. It'd be better yet if Americans refused to buy products made elsewhere, especially by our enemies, with the attitude toward helping American workers see more prosperity. But ultimately you are right. The American consumer, who cares most about a low price, is the one who can stop this. Unfortunately, with virtually everything made in these places, boycotting one company means you'll have to boycott them all.

    But make no mistake, if we weren't buying their products, these people would have even worse lives than they do now. Tens of millions of Chinese died of starvation in the 20th century. None of them had cars. They have enjoyed leaps and bounds in their standard of living with poorly paid workers selling things to the West, even despite these poor working conditions for some. These poor factory workers today would have been even poorer subsistence farmers in the countryside 30 years ago.
     
  17. reno

    reno VIP Extreme Gold

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    The world is a scary place.
     
  18. Habsfan

    Habsfan Well-Known Member

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    I going to hide under my blanket and watch a movie on my ipad to make myself feel better
     
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  19. reno

    reno VIP Extreme Gold

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    Just go to Mexico. Go off the beaten path. The third world is right next door..
     
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  20. CrucifiedAGT

    CrucifiedAGT He's Around VIP

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    Capitalism is the root of all evil. Nothing good comes from it. America sucks, they once had slaves, I mean, like, who does that???

    Sincerely,

    Hipster Douchebag
    Sent from my Iphone

    Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to hear the truth on the evils of capitlsm and slavery.