News-in-Transition

8 April 2016

 - A recent Amnesty International report sounded the alarm on a “blood mineral” mined by Congolese children as young as seven and used in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries found in laptops, smartphones and even electric cars.

The mineral is cobalt, and more than half of the world’s supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, including at least 20 percent which is mined by so-called “artisanal miners” in the southern part of the country. The report, titled “This Is What We Die For,” explains the conditions these miners work in:

“These artisanal miners, referred to as ‘creuseurs’ in the DRC, mine by hand using the most basic tools to dig out rocks from tunnels deep underground. Artisanal miners include children as young as seven who scavenge for rocks containing cobalt in the discarded by-products of industrial mines, and who wash and sort the ore before it is sold.”

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