Jan. 19, 2016—Ten percent of cobalt produced and used by the world's largest technology and mining companies relies on child labor and worker exploitation, a new report has claimed.
Amnesty International and the African Resources Watch (Afrewatch) said in a joint investigation that 20 percent of cobalt exported from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)—which produces half the world's supply—was extracted by small-scale operations with virtually no oversight.
Used in lithium-ion batteries, cobalt is an essential part of every mobile gadget sold around the world. Though most cobalt is mined by major industrial companies, a significant amount is still crudely extracted by hand and mixed into the main supply chain before being used by major technology firms, according to the report.
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