09:21 GMT25 September 2020
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    According to a human rights advocacy group report, major international electronics companies use cobalt sourced using child labor in the Democratic Republic of Congo to produce rechargeable batteries.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Major international electronics companies, including Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and HP, use cobalt sourced using child labor in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to produce rechargeable batteries, a human rights advocacy group said in a report published Tuesday.

    According to the report by Amnesty International and African Resources Watch, over a half of the world’s total supply of cobalt comes from the DRC, while the country's government estimates that some 20 percent of cobalt exported from the country comes from artisanal mines in the DRC's south.

    Thousands of minors over the age of seven work at such artisanal mines without any protective equipment, being exposed to the potentially fatal health effects, the researchers found.

    This illegally extracted cobalt ends up in the supply chains of many of the world’s leading brands, the report revealed.

    The researchers called for the companies to meet international due diligence obligations under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and demanded greater transparency around cobalt supply chain practices.


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