Apple has stopped buying cobalt mined by hand in Congo following reports of child labor and dangerous work conditions there.
Apple said the new policy would be in effect until it can confirm that companies in its supply chain for the metal, used in iPhone and iPad batteries, have "appropriate protections" safeguarding workers and banning child labor, a company spokesperson told the Washington Post. The spokesperson added that all small mines must meet its workplace standards to qualify as suppliers.
The announcement follows a recent report by U.K. broadcaster Sky News, which investigated the state of cobalt mine working conditions in the Congo. The investigation found several children, including an eight-year-old named Dorsen, who worked 12-hour days carrying heavy sacks in sometimes heavy rain, while supervisors threatened them with beatings. An 11-year-old worker, Richard, told Sky News that his body "ached" each day following his shift.
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